Sunday, April 17, 2016

Museum of Connecticut Glass Season Opener

The John Turner House.
 The Museum of Connecticut Glass started its 2016 season of open houses this weekend, with tours of the ca. 1813 house of John Turner, one of the incorporators of the Coventry Glass Works. The temperatures were a bit cool, especially inside of the Turner house, with its massive double-layered brick walls and dearth of windows on the south side, but the weather was clear and bright and turnout was good.
The MCG barn, with guests arriving.
 The guests included some locals who saw the "open" signs and were curious, and also people who had traveled specifically to see the Museum. One fellow was an antique building specialist who was more interested in the Turner house itself than Connecticut glass; he was absolutely ecstatic to see that the structure had been stabilized, but was otherwise in mostly unrenovated condition, with 200 years of modifications and a lot of well-used grunginess. Visitors like seeing the house, but that sort of deep enthusiasm was something I hadn't encountered before.

Display of early bottles, of the kind made at the Pitkin Glass Works. L-R: black glass wine bottle, chestnut bottle, Pitkin-type flask, GVIII-7 pint sunburst flask, dip molded snuff bottle.
The display this month was glass connected with the Pitkin, Coventry and Willington glass factories, along with the more permanent collections of memorabilia and excavated shards from Coventry, and a small exhibit on the Meriden Flint Glass Company. The next open house will be May 21, 2016, in association with the Museum's annual tailgate-style bottle and glass sale.