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New Accessions Highlight: Monuments in a Park

There are a few new pieces in the the back area of the Pleasant T. Rowland Gallery, which hosted an ongoing recent acquisitions exhibit since July, 2020. We’ll highlight the new additions online, and encourage you to come see the works in person during a free appointment.

Here we’ll take a look at Monuments in a Park by Audrey Handler, a pioneer among women in studio glass.

Monuments in a park by Audrey Handler

Audrey Handler, (American, b. 1934), Monuments in a Park, 1987-1988, blown glass, beveled plate glass, sterling silver and 18k gold on wood base with oak, walnut and rosewood inlays, 14 1/2 x 14 x 10 in., Joen Greenwood Endowment Fund purchase, 2020.36a-y

She was one of the first female students in the Glass Lab at the University of Wisconsin where she studied with the founder of the studio glass movement, Harvey Littleton. Monuments in a Park is a sculptural environment that combines everyday narrative with surreal imagery. Miniature silver and gold cast human figures populate a park overshadowed by a monument that is a life-sized bowl of apples in blown glass. The large fruit bowl reminds Handler of her mother’s hospitality and the apple, a central image in her work, symbolizes home and love. The wooden base refers to small-town restaurant tables with checkered tablecloths that evoke memories of travels with her husband. The artist considers herself a storyteller and imbues meaning in her work from her own experience of domestic life.