This inaugural exhibition series features selected art glass works from significant national private collections. Stuart Park has been collecting New Zealand glass for over 40 years and has over 1900 pieces in his glass collection, this exhibition highlights the development of New Zealand's art glass from the 1970s to the 2000s and includes artists such as John Croucher, John Leggott, Ann Robinson, Tony Kuepfer, Chuck Simpson, Gary Nash, Keith Mahy and more. This selection will be a real treat for art enthusiasts, historians and glass lovers alike.
About Stuart Park:
Park's career was mostly in three of New Zealand’s major museums, including 14 years as Director of Auckland War Memorial Museum, when several major national glass exhibitions were held, notably the Philips Studio Glass Awards between 1984 and 1986. From 1999 until he retired in 2012 he was Northland manager for Heritage New Zealand (formerly NZ Historic Places Trust). Because he no longer had any museum responsibility for glass, his personal collecting
was able to flourish. The on-line auction site TradeMe also allowed him to add many historical pieces he had missed out on in earlier years, though he also continues to buy contemporary pieces from artists and exhibitions. Stuart has always taken an historical interest in documenting the pieces he collects
, and has been very grateful for the willingness of many of New Zealand’s glass artists to provide information, advice, comments and interviews. He contributed an historical background essay to the book New Zealand Glass Art
published by NZSAG and David Bateman Ltd in 2010. His article there deliberately targeted the beginnings of glass in New Zealand, up until about 1990. Of course, much happened after that date, too, and his collecting
of both glass and information continues right up to the present. He publishes an occasional blog about New Zealand glass at: http://newzealandglass.blogspot.co.nz/
. Stuart participated in a Summer School glass-blowing course in Whanganui with Mandy Angus and Lyndsay Patterson in 2003, which helped him understand better how glass artists work, but confirmed his view that he is a collector and not a maker. As such he has enjoyed Associate Membership in NZSAG for quite a number of years.