The Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion, the newest addition to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, welcomed its first visitors at a special event on Sunday, Jan. 21, but the doors opened wide to the public at large Monday morning.
The new 5,500-square-foot building, designed by Lewis + Whitlock, features a sculptural glass façade that allows glimpses of the works inside. It’s a home for the display of The Ringling’s collection of international studio glass, as well as a formal entrance and gathering space for the Historic Asolo Theater. The pavilion also houses rehearsal spaces for guest performing artists.
The majority of the gifts shown initially in the pavilion come from the gift of The Philip and Nancy Kotler Glass Collection and the gift of The Warren J. and Margot E. Coville Glass Collection. Objects will be rotated periodically; The Ringling also spotlights its glass holdings in the museum through special exhibitions and installations.
The Kotlers and Covilles, who were on hand for the grand opening, provided the lead cash support for the multimillion-dollar project. The objects in the initial display were co-selected by The Ringling’s executive director, Steven High, with Ferdinand Hampson, a well-known glass specialist and dealer, and Barry Museum of Art director Jutta Page. Approximately 45 works of modern and contemporary glass art from five continents will engage visitors.
“For this exciting debut of the Glass Pavilion, we aimed to truly represent the global character of The Ringling’s collection,” says High. Among the countries represented by the artworks: Japan, Germany, the Czech Republic, Canada, Argentina and Australia.