Collecting – A Love Story: Glass from the Adele and Leonard Leight Collection

Collecting – A Love Story: Glass from the Adele and Leonard Leight Collection
February 6 – June 20, 2021

Engaged after a three-week courtship and married for 69 years, the late Leonard and Adele Leight were meant to be together. Their love for one another also embraced a love of artistic expression rendered in glass. Through decades of affectionate negotiation with one another—a requisite of any successful marriage—they built one of the country’s most significant collections of contemporary glass, proving once again that two heads are always better than one. Their collection has been generously gifted to the Speed over the past three decades.

Dedicated to the memory of Leonard and Adele, Collecting – A Love Story: Glass from the Adele and Leonard Leight Collection draws together over 60 works by over 50 artists to illustrate both the Leights’ shared lives as collectors and the stories of international contemporary glass embedded within their collection. Co-curated by Scott Erbes, the Speed’s Curator of Decorative Arts and Design, and widely exhibited artist and educator Norwood Viviano, this exhibition will use the breadth of the Leight Collection to examine the diverse practices of the artists represented. Some of the themes to be explored: issues of race and gender, perspectives on the human figure, conceptual considerations of the history of glass, and formalist explorations of the material.

Artists in the exhibition will include Dale Chihuly, Stephen Paul Day, Jeffrey Gibson, Karen LaMonte, Silvia Levenson, Sybille Peretti, Stephen Rolfe Powell, Judith Schaechter, Joyce J. Scott, Preston Singletary, Therman Statom, and Pamina Traylor as well as the artist-spouses Jaroslava Brychtová and Stanislav Libenský.

Support for this exhibition comes from:
Merrily Orsini and Rick Heath
Dr. John and Bonnie Seidman Roth

Support for contemporary exhibitions comes from:
Augusta and Gill Holland
Exhibition season sponsored by:
Cary Brown and Steven E. Epstein
Paul and Deborah Chellgren
Debra and Ronald Murphy