Museum Hosts Exhibition of Ancient Glass

An exhibition of ancient glass from 1500 BCE to the 6th century CE will be on display March 10 to May 19 in the Study Gallery at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University.

Ancient Glass: Selections from the Richard Brockway Collection, organized by museum director John Olbrantz, features 46 pieces from the Richard Brockway collection, considered one of the finest private collections of ancient glass in the U.S.

Brockway is a 1957 graduate of Willamette University, a retired engineer with GTE telephone company and director of Ancient Art International. Brockway will present a slide show and lecture April 12 from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the museum.

Natural glass has existed since the beginning of time, formed when certain types of rocks melt as a result of volcanic eruptions, lightning strikes or the impact of meteorites, and subsequently cool and solidify. Early man is believed to have used cutting tools made of obsidian (a natural glass) to make primitive tools and weapons. According to the Roman historian Pliny the Elder (23-79 CE), Phoenician merchants were thought to have discovered glass on the Levantine Coast.

The Brockway collection features glass from Egypt, the Near East, Greece and Rome, including drinking vessels, tableware, toiletry vessels and a host of other glass items that demonstrate the ancient glass artists' skill and mastery of glassmaking techniques. A wide variety of techniques are represented in the collection, including rod forming, core forming, mold casting, free blowing, mold blowing and pate de verre.

Ancient Glass: Selections from the Richard Brockway Collection has been supported in part by grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax and the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State St. (corner of State and Cottage streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free, and Tuesday is an admission-free day. For more information, call 503-370-6855.