Located in an old industrial area, just a short drive away in St. Petersburg, the Imagine Museum houses one of the largest collections of contemporary glass in the United States.
Philanthropist and artist Trish Duggan began collecting contemporary American Studio Glass with the intention of opening a museum for it to be displayed. Artists such as Dale Chihuly, Marvin Lipofsky, and Fritz Dreisbach played seminal roles in popularizing a new method of using a small, inexpensive furnace that made it affordable and possible for the first time for artists to blow glass in independent studios.
Breathtaking masterworks by these artists from the US and now from artists around the world are included in the museum's permanent and rotating exhibits.
The collection of 1500 pieces continues to grow. At any one time, 400 works from the collection are on display. According to the museum:
- It can take up to two years to create one life-size cast glass sculpture
- Glass must heat up to 2000 degrees to melt
- Large cast glass sculptures can take as long as six months to cool in an annealing oven even after the casting process is complete
- Hours and hours of grinding and polishing create the transparency and shine in the glass
If you appreciate the beauty of blown glass, then a visit to the Imagine Museum is a must.