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Art Glass Museum On WheelsAuthor: Doris Kirkpatrick
(Article orginally published March 1963)
For thirty years, Robert F. Caswell of Lunenburg, Massachusetts, indulged his hobby of collecting antique glass, specializing in the colorful Art Glass which appealed to him most. Then, seven years ago. his hobby took over; he sold his motel business and gave it his full time. Now, in a large white-painted truck emblazoned with the American eagle, the fruit of his collecting some 800 vases, pitchers, bowls, lamps, and baskets, the pretties that once adorned Victorian mantels and what-nots-is On Tour.
His first showing was in Ogunquit, Maine, last July. Sponsored by churches, art, or other community groups, future exhibits are scheduled throughout New England, New York, the mid-West, California, and as far south as Miami. Well represented in the display is the work of the New England Glass Company, the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company and Hobbs, Brocunier & Company. Agata, Pomona, Rainbow Satin, Burmese, Amberina, and other even rarer types of Art Glass are included to excite the interest of today's viewers. When Mr. Caswell first started collecting, the lush products of the age of overornamentation were not highly regarded, and their beauty, which he enthusiastically compares with a Titian painting seemed unappreciated.
The collection is strikingly displayed against a background of black satin, and securely fastened by rubber holders. The ten cases, each six feet long, open up to a total of 900 square feet of display. They are removable from the truck and can be set up without touching a finger to the glassware. Mr. Caswell designed the cases himself and worked for six months getting the truck ready.
Believing that Art Glass is part of the American heritage and that, as such, the American people, whether collectors or not, are interested. in seeing and learning about it, he takes delight in sharing his collectionand his information about it. (None of his 800 pieces are for sale.)