Inheritance: In Memory of American Glass
Inheritance: In Memory of American Glass is a permanent public work, commissioned by the NYC Metropolitan Transit Authority, Arts and Design, and installed on the Ditmas Avenue stop of the F subway station in Brooklyn, New York.
The installation features 30 glass panels, arranged in six compositions of five panels. Each panel of glass was made through a process of screenprinting stained glass pigments and sandblasting small areas for dimension and quality of color/light. The panels were then placed in insulated glass units.
Inheritance references patterns derived from those of American household glass objects, including depression glass, carnival glass, and early American pressed glass.
These glass objects were popular during the late nineteenth century until about the mid-twentieth century. The objects were beautiful and widely available to people of all social classes due to the method of production, where molten glass was pressed into a mould to quickly make multiples- unlike their more precious predecessor, cut crystal. I have therefore come to think of these objects and their patterns as symbols of the American dream.
The overarching compositions of each set of windows references the symmetry found in stained glass windows of gothic and gothic revival architecture, particularly those of lancets beneath rose windows. This style of architecture was popular during the time of the station's construction. The sandblasted details of the glass create areas of shadow and light, not unlike the function of tracery found in gothic churches.
The installation is meant to transform the station platform into a secular chapel of the American dream. It was fabricated by the incredible team at Glasmalerei Peters Studio in Paderborn, Germany, and installed in spring of 2016.
Photos by Kathryn Bauer