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Blenko is the heart of Ice House exhibit

October 16, 2007|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - The exhibit Blenko: West Virginia's Gift to the World, which is on display at the Ice House Gallery through Nov. 4, showcases three private collections of Blenko Glass, said Morgan Arts Council Executive Director Mary Hott.

The museum pieces are from the Huntington (W.Va.) Museum of Art; the West Virginia State Museum in Charleston, W.Va.; and the Blenko Factory collection, she said.

Blenko is one of the last remaining glassmakers in the country, she said.

Hott said this collection has pieces from 1910 to 1920 and some that are more recent. One of the pieces on display is from the 1983 Country Music Awards from Nashville's Grand Ole Opry House.

She said Randall Reid Smith, the state Commissioner of Culture and History, wanted to bring the Blenko Glass exhibit to Berkeley Springs, which is the first stop of the tour and the only show in the Eastern Panhandle.

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Hott said "we have received a lot of calls about the show, and we are seeing many proud West Virginians stopping by to see a piece of West Virginia history and culture."

A short film on Blenko's history and glassmaking runs continuously during the exhibit, Hott said.

Current pieces of Blenko Glass may be purchased at the gallery, Hott said. They were provided by the West Virginia Glass Outlet in Martinsburg.

The Ice House Gallery is at the corner of Independence and Mercer streets in downtown Berkeley Springs and is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

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