The Iowa Quester Glass Collection now numbers over 1,000 objects ranging from monumental Brilliant Period cut glass to colorful art glass and a diverse array of Early American Pattern Glass. This unique collection, housed in and cared for by Iowa State University Museums, Ames, Iowa, showcases American glass from 1840 to 1950.
In 1996, a partnership was formed between the Iowa Questers led by Kay Beckett of the Neta Snook Chapter in Ames, then Iowa Questers’ State President, Shirley Foster, and University Museums’ director, Lynette Pohlman. At that time, the University Museums was known nationally for having an encyclopedic glass collection as recognized by scholars and the pre-eminent American glass museum, the Corning Museum of Glass of Corning, NY. After a vote from the Iowa Quester State Council the Iowa Quester Glass Collection was formalized with the following mission: “To establish an Iowa Questers Glass Collection, of historic glass from around the world, at Iowa State University Museums. This would provide a State of Iowa resource for preserving, viewing and interpreting historic glass objects. The focus will be on American-made glass from 1840-1945.”
Now the bulk of the collection is American pressed glass pre-Depression Era most of which would fall under the Early American Pressed Glass (EAPG) group. Iconic works of glass include a Jumbo pattern table set, many pieces of Iowa City and Keota glass, a Rebecca at the Well tall standard compote, Terrestrial Globe pattern butter dish, examples from historical glass, the state’s series, and novelties. Thoughtful gifting of three major pressed glass collections just this past two years included over 130 toothpick holders, dozens of whale oil lamps, and a collection of 50+ sauce dishes and other glass works. With the help of many chapters, individuals, partners and collaborators, the collection continues to grow by leaps and bounds!