Susie Silbert discusses the importance of the Heller Gallery’s Glass America shows. Oral history interview with Susie Silbert by Catherine Whalen, February 25, 2020, Bard Graduate Center. Clip length: 01:37.

Susie Silbert: The Glass America shows that Heller Gallery [New York, New York] did when it was still called the Contemporary Art Glass Group in 1976 and 1978, were really important national surveys of glass that tried to do what the 1979 show, or what New Glass Now did today, which is bringing contemporary glass to broader audiences. And the way that they did that was by renting out the first floor of Lever House [New York, New York], which Doug Heller talks about being able toyou know, the Brownies, the Girl Scouts would have an exhibition one week, you could rent it out for glass cause he’s self-deprecating. But these big, big displays that people could come into, and learn about this field. And those shows, I think, had an incredible impact. Theirthe 1978 show had, for instance, Tom Patti on the cover, and I think that that piece went straight into a New York museum collection. And I think it’s not by coincidence that the New Glass Worldwide Survey covercatalog covera year later, also had Tom Patti, which was a very fraught, fraught decision. Not fraught for the museum, I don’t think, but fraught for everybody else, including Paul Smith who [laughs] chose that piece by himself. So, I think that thestarting in that time the Heller Gallery really had a vision for what the field could be and how it could get there, and how it could get there was by framing the material for people, and I think that’s something that is still alive in the way the gallery approaches glass today.