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Jan 19
Jun 12

Mythical Bounty: Glass Sculptures by Amber Cowan

Wed / January 19, 2022 Sun / June 12, 2022
All Day / Brunnier Art Museum, Scheman Building, ISU campus

Amber Cowan creates intricately detailed glass sculptures that invite the viewer to look closely to discover hidden treasures and stories among the swirls, curls, leaves, and patterns. Inspired by the colorful pressed glass of the 20th century, Cowan uses her inspiration directly within the art she creates. By salvaging objects and cullet from some of the best known, yet now defunct, American pressed glass manufactories, she gives the glass a new life as contemporary sculpture. Her complex dioramas and three-dimensional sculptures often use existing historic pressed glass objects she finds beautiful, then the remaining glass of the same color is melted down and painstakingly flameworked and blown to fill the space with ornament. Each sculpture has a narrative that must be sought out by the viewer as they peer through the many layers of glass ornament she has created. Cowan is both reinvigorating and honoring the many American glass manufactories that produced pressed glass wares by the thousands throughout the 20th century. She brings new life to the discarded glass of the past, but also gives a place of prominence and appreciation to a type of glass that is often disregarded by modern generations of consumers.

Mythical Bounty celebrates The Dreams of a Descendant Sireneuse, the new work of art University Museums has commissioned from Cowan for the permanent collection. The addition of Cowan’s sculpture connects with the range of Early American Pressed Glass of the Iowa Questers Collection within the permanent collection, while also expanding the variety and depth of the contemporary glass collection. The exhibition also includes both recent and newly created sculptures by Cowan. Each sculpture tells a unique visual story that Cowan has meticulously created, drawing viewers into a world that seems almost alive and blooming in front of their eyes.


Wednesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Closed University Holidays

Admission: The cost is free; however, there is a suggested donation of $8