Newly created gallery space displays collection of early American glass

April 25, 2017

Williamstown, Massachusetts—The Lauzon Glass Study Gallery, a new gallery devoted to the Clark Art Institute’s collection of early American glass, opens to the public on Sunday, May 14, 2017. Located in the Manton Research Center, the gallery houses some 250 objects, many of them from the Albert and June Lauzon Collection of Early American Blown Glass.
June Knisley Simpson married Albert Lauzon in 1953. They bought sea captain Joshua Crowell’s house in Chatham, Massachusetts, and collected fine and often rare examples of early American glass, particularly blown three-mold glass. June and Albert put part of their collection on loan to the Clark in 1975. Albert passed away in 1978, but June continued to collect, eventually donating nearly her entire collection, along with the Captain Crowell house, to the Clark. She passed away in 2006 at the age of 102. Her daughter, Mary June Cancilla, lives in Pittsfield with her husband Mike.

The Lauzon Glass Study Gallery features displays that tell the story of the glass industry in early America. As American glass factories developed, novel forms and patterns of decoration were created. The collection features free-blown glass (made without use of molds or presses), but is particularly rich in glass made from three-part molds. Such glass, which could be produced in greater numbers than by using the free-blown method, was created with molds that formed the vessel’s final shape and created decorative patterns on the surface of the glass. The collection also features a small selection of pressed glass, a mid-nineteenth century innovation of production that enabled even faster and more efficient production of glass products.

Many forms and colors of glass are included in the collection, including decanters, figured flasks, lighting implements, and objects for the table such as drinking glasses and salt cellars. A small selection of late nineteenth-century art glass and early-twentieth-century cut glass complements the earlier material. Text and object labels explain how glass was made and used in early America.

The installation of the Lauzon Glass Study Gallery is supported by a grant from The Henry Luce Foundation.


The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 270,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.
The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit or call 413 458 4303.
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Clark Art Institute
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