The Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion is free to the public open during regular museum hours.
The Ringling’s new Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion, revealed to the public on January 22, 2018, celebrates several connected milestones at once: the project’s inspiration and generous lead gifts from Nancy and Phil Kotler and Warren and Margot Coville, the recent development and engaging display of The Ringling’s collection of American and European studio glass, a formal and fitting entryway and gathering and rehearsal spaces for the Historic Asolo Theater and the establishment of another landmark work of architecture on The Ringling campus.
The 5,500-square-foot building is designed by Lewis + Whitlock, a regional firm known for its commitment to innovative and sustainable design. Its sculptural glass façade enables captivating glimpses of works inside.
The objects were co-selected by Ringling Executive Director Steven High and Detroit-area gallerist Ferdinand Hampson, who has specialized in working with glass artists for more than 40 years and has published and lectured widely on the art form. For this premiere installation, approximately 68 works of modern and contemporary glass art from five continents will be on view, highlighting the strength, diversity, and quality of The Ringling’s collection. Visitors will be able to explore a range of dynamic glass techniques as well, from cast and blown glass, to glass tubes and slumped glass.
“The Glass Pavilion truly represents the global character of The Ringling’s collection,” said Executive Director Steven High. “From Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic, Canada, Argentina, and Australia, the innovative work that artists are creating in glass is truly breathtaking.”
Grouped by country of origin, with over 13 countries currently represented, the works of art from the 1940s to the present will allow visitors to understand the historical arc and advancements of the medium over time, from the early period of the studio glass movement, to more contemporary work. In the latter case, many leading contemporary practitioners are bridging glass and sculpture, embracing glass as an ideal medium to embody what they want to say on a large scale.
The building of the Ringling’s glass collection, which continues to grow, is another story told through the installation, with recent gifts being showcased. One example is the monumental glass and wood sideboard by American artist Beth Lipman, donated by Ringling board member Dan Denton.
The display of the works, in casework embedded in the walls of the building, will allow more of the collection to be on view and will set the glass off to its best effect. In addition, each piece boasts its own LED lighting system, and each pedestal can be customized to permit transparent, translucent, or opaque light through, depending on the nature of the work.
The Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion will provide a welcoming entrance to The Ringling, accessible and complimentary to everyone, as well as serve as an introduction to the vibrant studio glass collection.
“The Sarasota region is a hub of glass art collectors and enthusiasts—for good reason. The light, sand, and seascapes in this part of Florida are envied worldwide.” – Steven High,