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Opening hours

We regret that the museum will be closed throughout November due to current government coronavirus restrictions. We are reopening on 2nd December.

Please call us on 01983 716270 for the latest information. Our staff will be able to take your call between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day, even when the museum is closed.

Coronavirus precautions

The safety of our visitors is a top priority for us. We have put in place a sanitiser station, increased frequency of cleaning, a one-way system to maintain social distancing, and a protective screen in our shop for the safety of both visitors and staff.

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

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.

Possibly Undercliff Sunrise small bell vase

This unusual and distinctive small bell vase with thin dark vertical canes and green applied rim is identified by Timothy Harris as an early trial of the Undercliff range. It is signed "Isle of Wight Glass England" in the hand of Timothy. It measures 11 cm high and 10.2 cm across the rim.

Paul Ysart globe paperweight

The museum purchased two of these high relief plaques in their original brass frames. They may have been inserted in a door, one on each side. They measure 19 cm x 22.7 cm and 7 mm thick, with the high relief extending a further 10 mm maximum. Suggested makers are John Walsh Walsh, Jobling and Hailwood Ackroyd and possible designers Walter Gilbert and Alan Howes.

A catalogue of the works by architectural sculptor Walter Gilbert and associates by Phillip Medhurst includes a high relief plaque called 'Doves' made at the Soho & Vesta Glass Works of John Walsh Walsh in Birmingham, England. But we remain uncertain since the plaques are unsigned. We had hoped for a signature along the edge of the plaque, but none was found. Considering their quality, that is surprising but not totally unexpected. A lot of good glass is unsigned.

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Inside the museum

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Blog

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


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