Toots Zynsky's work is a fusion of Impressionistic painting and sculpting of sensuous folds to create undulating forms of color and light that reveal the interior and exterior of the resulting glass pieces from any view. Toots Zynsky’s sculptures are comprised of hair-like strands of glass (heat-formed filet de verre) arranged as two-dimensional paintings in the round, which are then heat fused and sculpted by hand in a kiln-formed process to reveal magnificent sculptures that resemble torch flames, flower petals and coral formations from the ocean.
Toots Zynsky earned her BA degree in 1973 from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence. She developed and refined her unique art making practice while traveling and living in Amsterdam, Paris and Murano. Zynsky returned to the US in 1999 and now lives and works in Providence, RI. Earlier in 2012, she closed a major retrospective exhibition consisting of her work from the permanent collection of the Corning Museum of Glass, Masters of Studio Glass: Toots Zynsky, which was on view in their Focus Gallery from April 2, 2011 - January 29, 2012. Her artwork is represented in over 70 international museum collections, including the Boymans van Beuningen Museum (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), Cleveland Museum of Art, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution (New York), Corning Museum of Glass, (Corning, NY), Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art (Sapporo, Japan), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (Quebec, Canada), Musée des Arts Décoratifs du Louvre (Paris, France), Musei Civici Veneziani (Venice, Italy), Museum of Arts and Design (New York), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Museum of Modern Art (New York), National Museum of American Art (Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Powerhouse Museum (Sydney, Australia), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), Toledo Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, (London, UK).
Born: Boston, Massachusetts, 1951.
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
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
2000 Toots Zynsky: Passeggero. Barry Friedman Ltd., NY.
1999 Toots Zynsky and Nakao Yuko. Koganezaki Glass Museum,
1998 Toots Zynsky: Chaotic Fusion. Barry Friedman Ltd., NY.
1989 Toots Zynsky. Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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.
Exhibition of the Permanent Collection. Glasmuseet Ebeltoft, Ebeltoft,
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,
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),
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
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
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
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,
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.
-Cçlido!, Contemprorary Warm Glass. Tuscon Museum of Art,
Glass Today by American Studio Artists. Museum of Fine Arts,
Glass Today: American Studio Glass from Cleveland Collections.
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH.
Inaugural Exhibition. Museo del Vidrio, Monterrey, Mexico.
Artistes Verriers Contemporains. MusÄe des Arts DÄcoratifs de la
Ville de Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
1996 Venezia Aperto Vetro, Venice, Italy.
Couleurs et transparence, chefs-d+-uvre du verre contemporain.
MusÄe National de CÄramique, SÅvres, France.
1995 Glass Now +95, +94, +92,+ 91,+ 90,+ 89, & +87. Yamaha Corporation,
1994 International Craft Exhibition, Lillehammer, Norway. Winter Olympics.
1993 White House Craft Collection, White House, Museum of American Art,
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 RÄgional
de Haute- Normandie, France.
1991 Configura 1 - Kunst in Europa Erfurt 91. Erfurt, Germany.
Chefs d+Oeuvres de la Verrerie Franìaise du XIXe siÅcle ê nos jours.
MusÄe des Arts DÄcoratifs de Prague, Czechoslovakia.
1990 Gaste aus Frankreich. Museum fƒr Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg,
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 ActualitÄ International. MusÄe des Beaux Arts de Rouen,
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
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,
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
Music recording and research, Ghana: 1984-1985.
1982 National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Artist Fellowship, USA.
Pilchuck Glass Center, Stanwood, Washington. Artist-in-
1981 New York State Council on the Arts, Artist-in-Residence Grant. In
conjunction with the New York Experimental Glass Workshop,
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.
MusÄe des Arts DÄcoratifs du Louvre, Paris, France
MusÄe des Arts DÄcoratifs de la Ville de Lausanne, Switzerland
MusÄe 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, Zƒrich, 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.
Wƒrth Museum, Kƒnzelsau, Germany
Yokohama City Museum of Art, Yokohama City, Japan