Celebrating the Art of Glass. Ongoing. The Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami opened a new wing on December 2nd, 2008 dedicated to the art of glass. The Myrna and Sheldon Palley Pavilion for Contemporary Glass and Studio Arts is named for two University of Miami alumni and longtime benefactors, who donated their collection to their alma mater, along with a gift of $1.7 million for construction of the new wing, and another $1 million to fund an endowment for the glass collection.
Myrna and Sheldon Palley, who have been collecting glass for over 30 years and have amassed over 300 pieces, have donated more than 150 pieces by 53 different artists. The comprehensive collection, valued in excess of $3.5 million, is considered one of the country’s finest collections of studio glass .It includes work by Howard Ben Tre, Jose Chardiet, Dale Chihuly, Dan Dailey, Michael Glancy, Harvey Littleton, Stephen Weinberg, Stanislav Labinsky, and Lino Tagliapietra, among others.
The Palley Pavilion at the Lowe Art Museum showcases the Palley Collection on a rotating basis and features additional donations in glass, ceramics and fiber. Janet and Joseph Shein donated a larger-than-life-sized ceramic head on its own pedastal, along with its rendering, by internationally renowned ceramicist Robert Arneson, and anonymous donors have donated a William Morris installation, consisting of 15 different elements, a 10 feet tall ceramic oval by Jun Kaneko, and a textile wall hanging Ken Uyemura.
“The Palleys have been at the forefront of the University’s art glass program, which is highly regarded in the art community,” says Lowe Art Museum Director Brian Dursum. “This is their passion. We deeply appreciate their generosity and continuing commitment.”
Several years ago, 50 works from their private collection were selected for a special Lowe exhibit entitled “Splendor in the Glass: Contemporary Glass from the Palley Collection.”
“Myrna and Sheldon Palley are dream alumni,” said UM President Donna E. Shalala. “They give back to share their passion and love for the arts.” Myrna Palley received her bachelor’s in education in 1956, and Sheldon Palley received his B.B.A. in 1956 and his law degree from UM in 1957.
The light-filled 3,500 square foot Pavilion has been designed by Coral Gables based architect Ronald Mateu, of Mateu Architecture Inc., and incorporates elements that show off the inherent qualities of glass. "Glass is an art form that is alive, it reflects & feeds off the environment- especially light. Glass is not flat, like a painting or a piece of sculpture, it’s got light within. As I always say: it would be a dismal world if everything was black & white," said Myrna Palley
Entrance to the Palley Pavilion is through the Pat and Larry Stewart Hall, featuring a site-specific glass installation by renowned international glass artist and UM art faculty member William Carlson. A chandelier of revolving prisms by Jon Kuhn, donated by the artist, welcomes visitors to the space, which consists of the Beaux Arts Gallery, Matus Family Gallery, the Robert and Florence Werner Showcase, each housing selections from the permanent collection in handsome display cases.
Eight niches, measuring nine feet square and situated on the south and west facing walls, contain large-scale objects in all three media, and include works by Therman Statom, Rick Beck, Clifford Rainey, Robert Palusky, and former UM art faculty members Christine Federighi, Robert Willson, and Ken Uyemura. Floor pedestals scattered throughout the pavilion showcase single objects.
The Lowe Art Museum
1301 Stanford Drive
Coral Gables, FL 33146