For the opening of her exhibition, Beth Lipman: A Still Life Installation, at The Norton Museum of Art, contemporary glass artist Beth Lipman joined The Corning Museum of Glass team on the Hot Glass Roadshow stage for a special glassblowing event. Lipman worked with the team to make one of the objects included in her large blown glass sculpture One and Others, commissioned by The Norton Museum. A somber piece, the group of blown glass objects jumbled together refers to still life paintings in the museum’s collection. Gazing balls, pineapples, glasses, a rabbit and more all sit atop a black coffin, made to the measurements of the artist herself.
Traditionally, the pineapple is a sign of hospitality and welcome. It seemed fitting then that Lipman chose to make a glass version at the opening event. However, another story of the fruit’s significance surfaced during our visit to the museum.
Woodlawn Cemetery sits directly across the street from The Norton, located on South Olive Avenue in West Palm Beach, FL. Supposedly, as we were told, there are still graves that were never relocated from under the museum. One of these secret graves is reported to be Richard Hone, the owner of a pineapple plantation in West Palm Beach who was murdered in 1902.
Was the pineapple then a symbol of hospitality or homage to the murdered pineapple grower? As Lipman’s work addresses themes of material culture, life and death – it could be both.
The Hot Glass Roadshow is providing daily glassmaking demonstrations at The Norton Museum of Art, in West Palm Beach, FL through March 25.
For more information and photos of the Roadshow setting up in West Palm Beach: http://www.cmog.org/event/norton-museum-art
See Beth Lipman at The Studio: http://www.cmog.org/video/artist-residence-beth-lipman-april-2011