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Museum of Arts and Design to Preview Its Collection of Exceptional Goblets, Many Created for the Exhibition by Renowned Artists


"Cheers! A MAD Collection of Goblets" opens November 8

New York, NY (September 28, 2007)

The Museum of Arts & Design, to celebrate its half-century birthday and spectacular new home at Two Columbus Circle (opening in September 2008), is assembling a unique collection of celebratory goblets in all mediums -- glass, metal, clay, fiber, wood and mixed media. These vessels will be displayed prominently in the Museum's new building, beginning with the grand opening. Part of the goblet collection, however, will be given a "sneak preview" this fall at the Museum's present home on 53rd Street in a special exhibition, Cheers! A MAD Collection of Goblets, opening November 8 and running through March 9, 2008.

A drinking glass with a foot and a stem—what could be simpler? Within this definition, however, exist myriad variations of form, color and decoration. The exhibition features an engaging and diverse selection of vessels made by more than 100 artists from around the world.

Exceptional works by such renowned artists as Lino Tagliapietra, Dale Chihuly and Ginny Ruffner are included, as well as cutting-edge works by emerging artists. Many pieces were created expressly for the exhibition, and are on public display for the first time. Cheers! A MAD Collection of Goblets is based on the generous promised gifts of artist-made goblets of Jack and Aviva Robinson, along with gifts from collectors and artists from around the world.

“Celebration and ceremony are intertwined with the history of goblets,” says David Revere McFadden, the Museum’s chief curator.

“Whether a champagne flute raised on New Year’s Eve, or a casual toast between friends, goblets are the indispensable props in the theater of daily life. The goblet form has been around since Egyptian times. Over the centuries it has been rediscovered and reinterpreted by artists and designers who have created memorable, dramatic, engaging and whimsical forms that delight the eye.”

One section of the exhibition features works inspired by historic examples. Glass artist Lucio Bubacco builds on the Venetian tradition of elaborately ornamental goblets that dates back to the Renaissance. His studies in anatomy and the imagery of Classical Greek and Roman mythology are evident in the exquisitely sculpted forms that appear within the decorative framework that surrounds his goblets.

The exhibition will also include examples of classic design, such as the Tulip Goblet designed by Swedish artist Nils Landberg for Orrefors in 1953. Landberg’s elegant, fluid shapes would become a hallmark of mid-century design, and an inspiration for countless artists in all media.

Many of the works in Cheers! are non-functional, and use the vessel format as a jumping-off point for investigations of form and concept. In Jay Musler’s Water Tower , the artist uses sandblasting and oil paint to turn the glass goblet into an urban icon.

Jeweler ROY was inspired to create her goblet by her two daughters. She used rubber elements that she saw on their toys to create colorful balls that ornament the sleek silver vessel, creating interplay between material and textures, children's toys and adults' pastimes.

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