Toledo Museum of Art
2445 Monroe Street
August 12, 2023 - October 12, 2023 | During Regular Museum Hours
Motivated by histories Lipman discovered in the archives at the TMA, the project features a three-quarter life-sized recreation of the parlor in Edward and Florence Libbey’s Old West End house. Using the Libbey’s bookplate as a visual guide (the only known image of their home interior) Lipman filled this architectural space with objects found in the image that she fabricated in transparent and opaque white glass.
Some of these original household objects, including furniture, were gifted to the Museum by Florence Scott Libbey upon her death in 1938 and later sold in the 1990s. Lipman’s project symbolically gifts these objects, along with their stories, to the entire Toledo community. By looking closely at an internal aspect of Florence’s life, the project aims to emphasize her deeply personal commitment to the Museum. It emphasizes her involvement in building the Museum’s legacy and, importantly, the impact of the Libbey’s on Toledo.
Glass elements for ReGift were made in the TMA’s hotshop at the Glass Pavilion during a 2022 GAPP residency. A glass press, donated to TMA by Libbey company was also utilized to create components, conceptually triangulating the founder’s business with the Museum and the Libbey’s personal life. Through the GAPP residency, the project fulfills an institutional goal to continue to promote experimentation in the glass studio, connecting past history to present creative practice.
For artist Beth Lipman, the project’s intent is to accentuate the impact of Toledo Museum of Art founders and reaffirm the Museum’s position as a catalyst within community. Lipman states, “Today, our trust in institutions has been undermined; ReGift is an opportunity to strengthen and reinvigorate the Museum’s critical role in our culture.”
A short film will accompany the installation. Commissioned for the project, filmmaker Atesh Atici found inspiration in Florence Scott Libbey’s approach to her community in the early days of the Toledo Museum of Art. Considering current polarization within our society and a growing separation from public spaces, Florence’s desire to, “encourage attendance on the part of all people irrespective of condition of life” is key to refocusing attention on the Museum’s ethos of creating a space for serving the community of Toledo and beyond. The film evokes Florence’s ideas through a dramatization of these ideas.