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Opening hours

Government restrictions imposed during the covid-19 pandemic are gradually lifting. However, museums are not allowed to reopen until 17th May 2021. For the latest information please call us on 01983 716270. Our staff will be able to take your call between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day, even while we are closed.

Coronavirus precautions

The safety of our visitors is a top priority for us. When the museum reopens in May we will continue with these precautions. There is a sanitiser station, a one-way system to maintain social distancing, and a protective screen in our shop for the safety of both visitors and staff. We will also have an increased frequency of cleaning. Please follow current guidance on the use of face masks. We can provide one for you if needed.

What's in the museum

There are over 1200 pieces on show, including many unique and never before seen pieces, in two galleries.

The Studio gallery, the larger of the two, focuses on the Isle of Wight's many studio glass makers, particularly Isle of Wight Studio Glass, but also SculptGlass (Diamond Isle Sculptured Glass), Glory Art Glass and Alum Bay Glass as well as related studios such as Jonathan Harris Studio Glass. This gallery also has a stunning collection of Mdina glass made during the period when the Harris family were in Malta, between 1968 and 1972, many pieces signed by Michael Harris. Also, there are designs by Michael from the 1950s and when he was teaching at the Royal College of Art in London in the 1960s.

The museum is also building a collection of studio glass made by other British makers, such as Peter Layton, Pauline Solven, Karlin Rushbrooke, Nick Orsler, and Siddy Langley.

In our brand new gallery, opened in April 2018, we have a fascinating and growing collection of French, German and British Art Deco glass. The focus is on glass made or designed by/for Edmond Etling, Pierre D’Avesn, Verlys, Sabino, Jobling, Stuart Crystal, John Walsh Walsh and WMF.

A brief history

The museum opened in March 2016 after a great deal of work. Our single gallery on the ground floor exhibited the collection of studio glass handmade on the Isle of Wight. We also had a small shop. But our growing collection meant we soon ran out of space. Therefore, we moved everything to the first floor in January 2018.

In April 2018 we had completed a major redevelopment by opening a second gallery to showcase our Art Deco and Victorian glass collection. Other enhancements included a more exciting layout, storyboards and graphics, touch screen computers full of helpful information for visitors to use, and a library.

In September 2019 we opened a new shop and hired two retail staff. We offer a wide variety of glass, jewellery, books and other items to cater for many tastes. Our aim is to provide great products and excellent value for money. The shop is open 7 days per week.

Educational facilities

The museum has educational facilities catering for group visits, including schools and colleges, of up to 35 people. Our library is accessible to scholars and collectors by appointment.

Free wifi in the museum

Fast fibre broadband via Wifi is free in the museum. Just ask for the password.

New exhibits

Curt Schlevogt Walking Lady figurine

The Walking Lady (Schreitendes Mädchen) figurine in citrine glass was designed by Ida Schwetz-Lehmann in 1939 for the Curt Schlevogt company and produced at the glassworks of Josef Riedel in Dolni Polubny, Bohemia. It stands 38 cm high and 14 cm across the foot. It's absolutely stunning and rare too. This is the first piece of Czech glass added to the museum collection.

Isle of Wight Studio Glass Azurene trial vase

This vase is a trial for the Azurene range, probably dating from 1978. It was kept in the archive of Isle of Wight Studio Glass for over 30 years. It has extensive grey tarnishing of the silver foil found only on early pieces of Azurene. The button top rim is typical of some Mdina vases of the Harris era and IOWSG vases from the early 1970s.

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Inside the museum

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We are creating a kid's learning table - 07 Mar 2021 16:12

Tags: activitytable learningtable

The glass museum is an educational venue. We get many school groups visiting. But when families bring their younger children often they feel left out. To address that we have created a learning table aimed at 5- to 10-year-olds. - Click here to read more - Comments: 0

Museum receives its largest-ever donation - 06 Feb 2020 22:44

Tags: collection donation rogerwillsmer

The museum has received its largest-ever donation of over six hundred pieces of glass. Long-time glass collector Roger Willsmer, 76, of Upminster, Essex, contacted us in mid-November 2019 offering almost his entire collection. - Click here to read more - Comments: 0

How we built our new shop - 06 Oct 2019 21:48

Tags: installation shop

When the museum opened in March 2016 we had a shop from day one. However, when the space we occupied on the ground floor of Eastern Barn, Arreton, became insufficient, in Spring 2018 we moved to the first floor. At that point the shop closed. This is the story of how we opened a new and better shop in August 2019, with lots of pictures to illustrate what we did. - Click here to read more - Comments: 0

Meet our new staff: Jane and Sadie - 15 Sep 2019 10:36

Tags: janewoods sadiewyatt shop staff

After a most successful recruitment campaign, which attracted 110 applicants, the museum is pleased to announce that Jane Woods and Sadie Wyatt were selected for the posts of museum and retail assistant. We are delighted that Jane and Sadie have joined the team. They bring a huge amount of experience to the museum. - Click here to read more - Comments: 0

We are recruiting: two part-time museum and retail assistants - 07 Jul 2019 19:16

Tags: assistant employment retail sales staff

Have you ever fancied working at a museum and be surrounded by the most amazing glass every working day? Could you share your enthusiasm with visitors who are eager to see what is on show? Well now is your chance! Isle of Wight Museum of Glass is recruiting two part-time museum and retail assistants. - Click here to read more - Comments: 1

Prints on glassmaking from Diderot's Encyclopédie - 17 Nov 2018 22:18

Tags: library

The museum recently purchased four original prints from the Encyclopédie by Diderot and Jean Le Rond d’Alembert, published in Paris, France in the 1760s. What is remarkable is that these prints show that the techniques used in today's handmade studio glass are, essentially, little changed in 250 years. - Click here to read more - Comments: 0

New projects: Etling catalogue and glass on postcards - 02 Oct 2018 14:38

Tags: artdeco catalogue database etling postcards

The museum recently started two major projects. The first is to create a catalogue of the glass produced in the 1920s and 1930s for Edmond Laurent Etling. The second is to create a database of postcards depicting glass or glass making. - Click here to read more - Comments: 0

Museum guide being trialed - 02 Sep 2018 16:31

Tags: museumguide

A guide to the museum exhibits, provided on small handheld touch-screen tablet computers, is currently being trialed. We are pleased to report that the initial feedback has been positive. - Click here to read more - Comments: 0

Volunteer scheme is launched - 07 May 2018 09:07

Tags: volunteering

After three months of hard work on an extensive redevelopment the museum has been completely transformed. It now has two spacious galleries to display over 1200 glass exhibits. It is quite a task for the two part-time staff to run the museum. Therefore, a volunteer scheme has been launched and immediate applications are being invited. - Click here to read more - Comments: 1

Nature in Art exhibition: The Harris Dynasty - 17 Mar 2018 22:22

Tags: exhibition jonathanharris michaelharris natureinart timharris

Nature in Art has organized a special exhibition at Wallsworth Hall in Gloucestershire entitled "The Harris Dynasty" from 20th March to 15th April 2018. As well as items from the private collection of the Harris family about 50 pieces have been loaned by Isle of Wight Museum of Glass for the exhibition. In total about 200 pieces are on show. - Click here to read more - Comments: 0

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