Beth Lipman: ReGift at the Toledo Museum of Art

Beth Lipman in

ReGift is a sculptural installation created specifically for the Toledo Museum of Art. It will go on view in Gallery 18, August 12, 2023.

Motivated by histories Lipman discovered in the archives at the TMA, the project features a three-quarter life-sized recreation of the parlor in Edward and Florence Libbey’s Old West End house. Using the Libbey’s bookplate as a visual guide (the only known image of their home interior) Lipman filled this architectural space with objects found in the image that she fabricated in transparent and opaque white glass.

Some of these original household objects, including furniture, were gifted to the Museum by Florence Scott Libbey upon her death in 1938 and later sold in the 1990s. Lipman’s project symbolically gifts these objects, along with their stories, to the entire Toledo community. By looking closely at an internal aspect of Florence’s life, the project aims to emphasize her deeply personal commitment to the Museum. It emphasizes her involvement in building the Museum’s legacy and, importantly, the impact of the Libbey’s on Toledo.

Glass elements for ReGift were made in the TMA’s hotshop at the Glass Pavilion during a 2022 GAPP residency. A glass press, donated to TMA by Libbey company was also utilized to create components, conceptually triangulating the founder’s business with the Museum and the Libbey’s personal life. Through the GAPP residency, the project fulfills an institutional goal to continue to promote experimentation in the glass studio, connecting past history to present creative practice.

For artist Beth Lipman, the project’s intent is to accentuate the impact of Toledo Museum of Art founders and reaffirm the Museum’s position as a catalyst within community. Lipman states, “Today, our trust in institutions has been undermined; ReGift is an opportunity to strengthen and reinvigorate the Museum’s critical role in our culture.”

A short film will accompany the installation. Commissioned for the project, filmmaker Atesh Atici found inspiration in Florence Scott Libbey’s approach to her community in the early days of the Toledo Museum of Art. Considering current polarization within our society and a growing separation from public spaces, Florence’s desire to, “encourage attendance on the part of all people irrespective of condition of life” is key to refocusing attention on the Museum’s ethos of creating a space for serving the community of Toledo and beyond. The film evokes Florence’s ideas through a dramatization of these ideas.

More on the Exhibition HERE

More on Beth Lipman HERE

Beth Lipman: ReGift

Toledo Museum of Art | Toledo, OH | August 12, 2023 — September 1, 2024


Beth Lipman: ReGift shares some of the unwritten histories that artist Beth Lipman discovered while conducting research in the archives of the Toledo Museum of Art. Her exploration inspired a room-sized recreation in wood, glass, and metal of a scene from a bookplate used by the museum’s founders, Edward Drummond Libbey and Florence Scott Libbey. Lipman was particularly keen to examine Florence’s life, and in conversation with curator Diane C. Wright and archivist Julie A. McMaster, she discusses the project’s origins in her own artistic practice and its relationship to shifting understandings of institutions and their publics. An essay by Wright and McMaster draws on additional archival materials to fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge of Florence Scott Libbey’s life.

Published in conjunction with the exhibition Beth Lipman: ReGift, exclusively at the Toledo Museum of Art, August 12, 2023-September 1, 2024.

Written by Diane C. Wright, Senior Curator of Glass and Contemporary Craft, Toledo Museum of Art; featuring a conversation with Beth Lipman and contributions by Julie A. McMaster, Archivist, Toledo Museum of Art.

Softcover, 9 1/4″ x 6 3/4″
Published by the Toledo Museum of Art. © 2023 Toledo Museum of Art