Knoxville Museum of Art Announces New Ongoing Glass Gallery

December 1, 2014

The Knoxville Museum of Art announces Facets of Modern and Contemporary Glasswhich features the KMA’s growing collection of modern and contemporary glass, supplemented periodically by works on loan. Facets encourages museum visitors to consider Richard Jolley’s Cycle of Life within a larger context. It also reflects the KMA’s progress in building a focused collection of sculptures in glass by international artists who share Jolley’s interest in new technical and conceptual approaches to this ancient medium.

As a part of Facets, the museum recently acquired several major glass sculptures by distinguished international artists through the generous support of Jefferson City native Mary Alice Hale Corkran. The Washington, DC-based collector donated the sculptures in memory of her parents Mary Lee and Julius Hale. Her father practiced law for many years in Jefferson City, was a distinguished alumnus and trustee of Carson-Newman College, and served on the Jefferson County School Board. One of Hale’s proudest achievements was establishing the Rural Electric cooperative that was responsible for bringing electricity to Jefferson County.

Corkran and her husband Blair became avid collectors of international studio glass in 1980, and were deeply involved as members of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass. They only purchased works they could both agree on, and went out of their way to get to know each artist whose work they collected. Mrs. Corkran donated to the KMA sculptures by internationally-known Czech sculptors František Vizner and Václav Cigler, and American artists Harvey Littleton and Jon Kuhn. These works, along with several others from the museum’s collection, will be featured in a special ongoing display scheduled for unveiling in early December at the KMA. Mrs. Corkran also donated funds to help with the construction of special vitrines for the display, and more recently funded the KMA’s purchase of Chado, a large cast glass figurative sculpture by contemporary artist Karen LaMonte, in memory of her husband Blair. According to KMA curator Stephen Wicks, “Mrs. Corkran’s extraordinary support promises to serve as a catalyst for other acquisitions, and help the KMA realize its goal of establishing a tightly focused collection of sculptures in glass by internationally recognized contemporary artists who are introducing new technical and conceptual approaches to the medium.”

The Knoxville Museum of Art
The Knoxville Museum of Art celebrates the art and artists of East Tennessee, presents new art and new ideas, serves and educates diverse audiences, and enhances Knoxville’s quality of life. The museum is located in downtown Knoxville at 1050 World’s Fair Park and is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday 10am–5pm, and Sunday 1pm-5pm. Admission and parking are free. For more information, contact Angela Thomas at 865.934.2034 or visit