Tina Oldknow started her museum career as a curator of Greek and Roman art and ancient and historical European glass at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It was there, in 1982, that she was introduced by collectors Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser to the then emerging world of American studio glass. She was hooked.
Fast forward to 2015: Tina is now one of the most widely respected experts in contemporary art and design in glass—the perfect person to curate the inaugural installation of the Museum’s new wing. She lived and worked for many years in Seattle, the West Coast mecca for glass, before moving to Corning in 2000 to become the Museum’s curator of modern and contemporary glass.
A prolific and elegant writer, Tina has written numerous publications on contemporary artists and their works. She edits the Museum’s long-running journal, New Glass Review, and curates all of the modern and contemporary exhibits at the Museum. In 2014, she was chosen by her peers in the art and craft community to be an Honorary American Craft Council Fellow, recognizing her excellence and experience in the field.
Tina says the most exciting aspect of her job is writing about art and artists, and researching and acquiring works of art. She also enjoys working on gallery displays for the public, who she hopes will love the artworks as much as she does. Most importantly, she appreciates getting to know the artists.
“To me,” she says, “the artists are the thinkers in our society. They’re the philosophers. And I’m always interested in hearing what they have to say.”
About the new wing, Tina says, “The building is an incredible work of art in itself. The skylight roof is particularly special and I love the idea of looking at sculpture and having a cloud pass over the sun and to see that difference as that shadow passes by. It’s so dynamic.”
Collecting Contemporary Glass
The publication Collecting Contemporary Glass was envisioned as a souvenir book for the new Contemporary Art + Design Wing. It includes some of the most interesting pieces in the collection, featuring different types of contemporary works in art, craft, and design. “It’s meant to be very visual,” said Tina Oldknow, senior curator of modern and contemporary glass, and author of the book. “It brings out some of the most interesting ideas that people are exploring in glass now, which I hope readers will enjoy.” Collecting Contemporary Glass is now available in the Museum Shops and on cmog.org.