Fine Art Museum features Littleton collection

Western Carolina University’s Fine Art Museum at the Fine and Performing Art Center will feature the exhibition “Harvey K. Littleton and Friends: A Legacy of Transforming Object, Image and Idea,” which will be open from Nov. 19 through March 3.
Littleton is a renowned artist and master teacher who works out of Spruce Pine. He is widely considered the father of the contemporary studio glass movement in the United States and Europe, as well as the inventor of a versatile and unique vitreographic print-making process.

Harvey Littleton, "Lyrical Movement," glass

Harvey Littleton, “Lyrical Movement,” glass

“Harvey Littleton is a national treasure,” said Martin DeWitt, Fine Art Museum director. “This is an extraordinary exhibition and a rare chance for our Western North Carolina audiences to not only learn more about the unique print-making process of vitreography, but to see early works in clay and glass by Harvey, as well as former students such as Dale Chihuly, who has gained glass art celebrity status, and great internationally known artists such as Erwin Eisch, a native of the Bavarian town of Frauenau near the Czechoslovakian border.”

The exhibition will highlight the Littleton legacy, including the experimental nature of the vitreographic process of creating unique multiple prints from etched glass plates. Contemporary and early works by Littleton, and nationally and internationally known guest artists over the years at Littleton Studios will be represented. More than 60 works in mixed media, vitreography, painting, studio glass, ceramics sculpture, prints and book arts will be featured. The exhibition focuses on the artist as an inventor, offering experiential learning across disciplines, DeWitt said.

Harvey Littleton, "Through the Glass Darkly," vitreograph

Harvey Littleton, “Through the Glass Darkly,” vitreograph

Other noted artists represented will be Warrington Colescott, Karen Kunc, Herb Jackson, Sergei Isupov, Clarence Morgan, Dan Nakashima, Judith O’Rourke, Italo Scanga, Therman Statom, Jim Tanner, Claire Van Vliet, Dan Welden and Ann Wolff. Current and former Western art faculty members who have been guest artists to the Littleton Studios include Jon Jicha, Matt Liddle, Robert Godfrey and William Lidh.

Museum members and the general public are invited to the exhibition opening from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 19. During the reception at 2 p.m., DeWitt will give a gallery talk titled “Artist as Inventor.” The reception will be free.

Therman Statom, "Buddha Forrest Stories," vitreograph

Therman Statom, “Buddha Forrest Stories,” vitreograph

Already under way at the Fine Art Museum is “Crossing Boundaries: Maintaining Traditions – Fiber Teaching Artists in the Southeast.” The exhibit features 22 fiber artists who also teach in colleges, universities and school in the Southeast. From traditional to contemporary fiber expressions, the artists offer personal perspectives on the textile medium and experimental processes while mentoring the fiber artists of the future, DeWitt said The exhibit will continue through Friday, Dec. 15.

The suggested donations for visitors of Western’s Fine Art Museum is $5 for families, $3 for individuals, and free for children under 12 and students with school identification.

The Fine Art Museum is open every Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. It also is open on the first Saturday of each month from 1 to 4 p.m.

For more information about Western’s Fine Art Museum, call (828) 227-3591 or visit