From Flame to Flower

The Art of Paul J. Stankard

From Flame to Flower: The Art of Paul J. Stankard is a retrospective of one of New Jersey’s most prominent glass artists. Paul Stankard has worked with glass since 1961 and has dedicated over 50 years to perfecting his technique and signature botanical glass sculptures. In his experimentation and thirst for new and exciting forms, Stankard revolutionized the paperweight industry and influenced countless glass artists. The exhibition includes more than 75 stunning glass objects that will be on view September 15, 2023 through February 4, 2024. To celebrate the opening of the exhibition, a Member Preview event will be held on Thursday, September 14; this exclusive opportunity will allow Museum members to be the first to experience this exhibition.

This exhibition will provide visitors with a comprehensive overview of Stankard’s artistic journey and his significant contributions to the world of glass art. From his early works to his most recent masterpieces, the retrospective will highlight the evolution of his style that blends mysticism with magical realism and the development of his signature flameworking techniques. On view in the Museum’s historic Twin Oaks mansion, the exhibition will be presented in an intimate gallery setting that allows visitors to appreciate his glass work’s captivating beauty and intricacy. Each of Stankard’s works offers a unique view based on the visitor’s vantage point, encouraging visitors to see the many facets of each object.

From Flame to Flower combines a vast catalog of glass art from his earliest work in 1971 and draws from several collections, including Stankard’s private one. The exhibition will guide visitors through his intricate process with photos, audio recordings of the artist, and related ephemera. It will elaborate on the flameworking process, also known as lampworking, a bench craft technique of forming objects from rods of glass that, when heated in a flame, become soft and can be shaped.

Paul Stankard is an internationally acclaimed artist and pioneer in the studio glass movement, and his work is represented in more than 70 museums worldwide. In 1961, he enrolled in Salem County Vocational Technical Institute’s Scientific Glassblowing program (now Salem Community College). During his ten-year scientific glassblowing career, he became a master of fabricating complex instruments for leading laboratories including Rohm and Haas. In 1972, Paul left the industry to pursue his dream of being creative in glass full-time.

This exhibition is organized by Michelle Graves, Morris Museum Curator.

Major support for this exhibition is provided by the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass. Additional support is provided by Alan and Melanie Levitan, the Paperweight Collectors Association, Inc., and Schantz Galleries.