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Toots Zynsky 

American, born 1951


Toots Zynsky (born Mary Ann Toots Zynsky) received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1973.  In 1971, she assisted Dale Chihuly and others in the founding and early development of Pilchuck Glass School. From 1980 to 1983, she was a key participant in the rebuilding and development of the second New York Experimental Glass Workshop, now UrbanGlass. While living in Europe in the late 80s and 90s, Zynsky collaborated with Mathijs Teunissen Van Manen to create a glass thread-pulling machine. During these years, she developed her unique “filet-de-verre” technique.  Among other awards, she has been a recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants and the Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts in 2006.  Zynsky’s work is represented in more than 70 museum collections around the world. In the words of Tina Oldknow, curator of modern glass at the Museum, “She is one of a small, core group of pioneering artists who made contemporary glass a worldwide phenomenon, and her distinctive kiln-formed vessels enjoy widespread popularity for their often magnificent, and always unique, explorations in color.”



1979 Rhode Island School of Design, Special Student Advanced Glass Program (Fall Semester).

1973 B.F.A. Rhode Island School of Design, Rhode Island.

1971 Pilchuck Glass Center, Stanwood, Washington. Glassblowing Workshop (June thru August).

1970 Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deere Isle, Maine. Glassblowing Workshop (August).


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2005 Toots Zynsky. Notojima Glass Art Musem, Notojima-machi, Japan.

2004 Toots Zynsky. Shoha Museum of Sarutahiko Shrine, Ise, Japan.

2003 Solo (x) 4. Barry Friedman Ltd., NY.

2002 Toots Zynsky. Museo Correr (Civici Musei Veneziani D’Arte e di Storia),Venice, Italy. (Traveling Exhibition)

Toots Zynsky: Baiaderi. Barry Friedman Ltd., NY.

2001 Toots Zynsky. Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, Ebeltoft, Denmark. (Traveling Exhibition)

2000 Toots Zynsky: Passeggero. Barry Friedman Ltd., NY.

1999 Toots Zynsky and Nakao Yuko. Koganezaki Glass Museum, Shizuoka, Japan.

1998 Toots Zynsky: Chaotic Fusion. Barry Friedman Ltd., NY.

1989 Toots Zynsky. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Selected Group Exhibitions

2005 Steninge World Exhibition of Art Glass 2005. Steninge Slott Cultural Centre, Marsta, Sweden.

Taking Shape: Pilchuck Glass School in the '70s. Bellevue Arts Museum, Bellevue, Washington.

Glass from the Olnick Spanu Collection. North American Tour 2003-2006, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI.

Chazan’s Choice: Gifts of Contemporary Art to the RISD Museum. The RISD Museum of Art, Providence, RI.

American Studio Glass: A Survey of the Movement. The Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, Pine Bluff, AZ. (Traveling Exhibition)

Exhibition of the Permanent Collection. Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, Ebeltoft, Denmark.

Louise Wells Cameron Art Museum, Wilmington, NC.

Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI.

2004 Studio Glass International: Selections from the Esterling/Wake Collection. The Marxhausen Gallery of Art, Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska.

Recent Acquisitions in Glass. The RISD Museum of Art, Providence, RI.

American Studio Glass: A Survey of the Movement. Traveled to: Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA; Bergstrom- Mahler Museum, Neenah, WI; Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY; and the International Museum of Art and Science, NcAllen, TX.

Technique and Expression II: Fusing and Gluing. Kogenezaki Glass Museum, Shizuoka, Japan.

2003 Fire and Form: The Art of Contemporary Glass. Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida.

Through American Eyes: Two Centuries of American Art from the Huntington Museum of Art. Traveled(2003-2005): The Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia; The Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ; Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX; The Taft Museum, Cincinnat, Ohio and the Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, MI.

Glass Vessel: An International Invitational. Kentucky Museum of Arts and Design (formerly Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation), Louisville, Kentucky.

Crafts Now: 21 Artists each from America, Europe, and Asia. The World Craft Forum Kanazawa, Kanazawa, Japan.World Competition of Arts and Crafts, Kanazawa: Special Invitational Exhibition.

American Studio Glass: A Survey of the Movement. Traveled to: The William S. Fairfield Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay, WI; Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI; The Haggin Museum, Stockton, CA.

2002 UrbanGlass @ 25: An Anniversary Exhibition. The Gallery at Steuben, N.Y.

Contemporary Directions: Glass from the Maxine and William Block Collection. Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. Traveling to: Toledo Museum of Art, OH: Fall 2003.

Transparent Illusions. Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI.

2001 Shanghai Fine Arts Museum, Shanghai, China, and China Millenium Monument Museum, Beijing, China,Contemporary Glass Worldwide

Flet, Braid. Nordjllands Kunstmuseum, Aalborg, Denmark and Tonder Museum, Tonder, Denmark.

Venini- Glass and Design in a World Perspective. Mingei International Museum, San Diego, CA.

Late 20th Century Sculpture. Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, N.Y.

Fire and Light: 3000 Years of Glass Artistry. The Newark Museum, Newark, NJ.

Contemporary Glass from the Permanent Collection. The Rockford Art Museum, Rockford, IL.

2000 Open Ends: MoMA 2000. Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY.

Venetian Glass: 20th Century Italian Glass from the Olnick Spanu Collection concurrent with Memories of Murano: American Glass Artists in Venice.

American Craft Museum, New York, NY.

From Westmoreland Glass to Contemporary Glass. Museum of American Art, Greensburg, PA.

Vessels: The International Exhibition of Glass. Koganezaki Glass Museum, Shizuoka, Japan.

Splendor in the Glass: Contemporary Glass from the Palley Collection. The Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Florida.

Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition (SITES), Civic Fine Arts Center, Sioux Falls, SD: 2000; Museum of Arts and Sciences, Georgia: 2000; George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, MA: 1999; Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL: 1999.

1999 Handmade: Shifting Paradigms. Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.

Global Art Glass. Borgholm Castle, Borgholm, Sweden.

Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey, Mexico.

1998 Venezia Aperto Vetro, Venice, Italy.

1997 Masters of Contemporary Glass: Selections from the Glick Collection. Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN.

¡Cálido!, Contemprorary Warm Glass. Tuscon Museum of Art, Tuscon, AZ.

Glass Today by American Studio Artists. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.

Glass Today: American Studio Glass from Cleveland Collections. Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.

Inaugural Exhibition. Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey, Mexico.

Artistes Verriers Contemporains. Musée des Arts Décoratifs de la Ville de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

1996 Venezia Aperto Vetro, Venice, Italy.

Couleurs et transparence, chefs-d’œuvre du verre contemporain. Musée National de Céramique, Sèvres, France.

1995 Glass Now ’95, ’94, ’92,’ 91,’ 90,’ 89, & ’87. Yamaha Corporation, Tokyo, Japan.

1994 International Craft Exhibition, Lillehammer, Norway. Winter Olympics.

1993 White House Craft Collection, White House, Museum of American Art, Washington D.C.

Contemporary Crafts and the Saxe Collection. Toledo Museum of Art, OH.

1992 The Second Australian International Crafts Triennial. Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Australia.

Clearly Art: The Pilchuck’s Glass Legacy. The Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Bellingham, WA.

Exposition Internationale de Verre Contemporaine. Conseil Régional de Haute- Normandie, France.

1991 Configura 1 - Kunst in Europa Erfurt 91. Erfurt, Germany.

Chefs d’Oeuvres de la Verrerie Française du XIXe siècle à nos jours. Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Prague, Czechoslovakia.

1990 Gaste aus Frankreich. Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany.

Masterpieces of Glass from the Corning Collection. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Masterpieces of Glass from the Corning Collection. The Hermitage, St. Petersberg, Russia.

1988 Vormen in Glas. Travelling Museum Exhibition, The Netherlands.

World Glass Now. Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan.

1986 Poetry of the Physical. American Craft Museum, New York, NY.

New American Glass, Focus 2 West Virginia. Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia.

The Saxe Collection. Oakland Museum of Art, Oakland, CA.

1985 World Glass Now. Hokkaido Museum of Art, Sapporo, Japan.

Art du Verre Actualité International. Musée des Beaux Arts de Rouen, France.

1984 Pilchuck Glass. Cheney-Cowles Museum, Spokane, WA.

1983 Special Exhibition of Contemporary American Glass. The American Embassy, Prague, Czechoslovakia.

1982 The Fine Art of Private Commissions Dimock Gallery. George Washington University, Washington, DC.

New York Experimental Glass Workshop Exhibition. Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ.

1981 Americans in Glass. Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum, Wausau, IL.

Travelled to: The Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York; The Krannert Museum of Art, (The Western Association of Art Museums), Illinois.

Glass Routes. De Cordova and Dana Museum, Lincoln, MA.

1980 Sculptural Glass: 10 New York City Area Artists. Clayworks-Glassworks Gallery, New York, NY.



1999 Innovation in a Glassworking Technique. UrbanGlass Annual Award, USA.

1997 Die Bayerische Staatsregierung. Munich, Germany.

1988 Rakow Commission, Corning Museum of Glass, USA.

1986 National Endowment for the Arts, U.S.A.

1984 Research Grant, Stichting Klankschap (Foundation), Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Music recording and research, Ghana: 1984-1985.

1982 National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Artist Fellowship, USA.

Pilchuck Glass Center, Stanwood, Washington. Artist-in-Residence:August.

1981 New York State Council on the Arts, Artist-in-Residence Grant. In conjunction with the New York Experimental Glass Workshop, NY: 1981-1982.


International Museum and Public Collections

Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL, U.S.A.

Boymans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY, U.S.A.

Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH, U.S.A.

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI, U.S.A.

Glasmuseum, Ebeltoft, Denmark

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, U.S.A.

Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan

Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, W.VA, U.S.A.

Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana, U.S.A.

J.B. Speed Museum, Louisville, KY, U.S.A.

Kestner Museum, Hannover, Germany

Koganezaki Glass Museum, Koganezaki, Japan

Kunstammlungen der Veste-Coburg, Coburg, Germany

Germany Kunstgewerbemuseum Berlin, Germany

Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Germany

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum, Wausau, WI, U.S.A.

Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN, U.S.A.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI, U.S.A.

Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL, U.S.A.

Musée des Arts Décoratifs du Louvre, Paris, France

Musée des Arts Décoratifs de la Ville de Lausanne, Switzerland

Musée du Verre et du Cristal de Meisenthal, France

Musei Civici Veneziani, Museo Correr, Venice, Italy

Museo Municipal de Arte en Vidrio de Alcorcon, Alcorcon, Spain

Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey, Mexico

Museum Bellerive, Zürich, Switzerland

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I., U.S.A.

Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, U.S.A.

Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany

Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, Michigan, U.S.A.

National Gallery of Victoria, Victoria, Australia

National Museum of American Art (Smithsonian), Washington DC, U.S.A.

Nederlandsche Bank NV (The Dutch Central Bank), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA, U.S.A.

Newark Museum, Newark, NJ, U.S.A.

Nordenfjeldske Kunst Industrimuseum, Trondheim, Norway

Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.

Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA, U.S.A.

Prescott Collection of Pilchuck Glass of Pacific First Center, Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

The Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin, U.S.A.

Saint Louis Museum of Art, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.

Shimonoseki City Art Museum, Shimonoseki, Japan

Shoha Museum of Sarutahiko Shrine, Ise, Japan

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL, U.S.A.

The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH, U.S.A.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

The White House Collection, Washington DC, U.S.A.

Würth Museum, Künzelsau, Germany

Yokohama City Museum of Art, Yokohama City, Japan

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