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News . Feature Stories . Windgate Intern Explores Museum's Glass Collection

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September 23, 2010

Windgate Intern Explores Museum's Glass Collection

Rising above competitors nationwide, a CIA glass major landed a prized summer internship helping to curate the Cleveland Museum of Art's studio glass collection.

Windgate Intern Explores Museum's Glass Collection

Glass major Robert Coby spent an illuminating summer researching the studio glass collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art in a highly coveted Windgate internship.

His assignments were to use the museum’s library to research glass art from around the world; study the museum’s collection of 20th and 21st century glass; compare it with public collections in Toledo and Pittsburgh as well as two prominent private collections in Greater Cleveland; and complete a report with ideas for acquisitions, exhibition display, and interpretation of the museum’s glass collection.

Funded by the University of North Carolina’s Center for Craft, Creativity and Design (CCCD), Windgate internships are open to graduate and undergraduate students nationwide.

“I was thrilled when it worked out that Robert was from CIA but that wasn’t a prerequisite,” said Coby’s supervisor, Stephen Harrison (pictured at left with Coby), curator of decorative art and design. “We received applications from all over the country; so it speaks to the quality of CIA that Robert rose to the top. It’s been extremely beneficial to us. I think it’s worked out really well for Robert too.”

For Coby, the opportunity was golden. “I’ve learned a lot and seen a lot of glass. I’m supposed to be getting a finger on who will be the famous glass artists of the future and I’ve found hundreds.”
Asked whether his research sparked any new ideas for his own work, Coby said, “I already have an idea of what I’m going to start making for my BFA but this research is definitely going to influence the way I think about growing from that point.”

This is the fifth year CCCD has partnered with museums in the U.S. and U.K. to provide art students with internships to work with craft collections. The other three museums chosen to receive internship underwriting this year were the Oakland Museum of California; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Learn more about the glass program at CIA.

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