by Chris Duthie | November 14, 2018
Underscored by a nine-gallery, eye-candy collection of more than 500 pieces of American Studio Glass, the Imagine Museum has recently opened in St. Petersburg. The three-story downtown property is the latest of a series of regional, privately funded facilities that are turning the St.Petersburg/Clearwater area into a must-see art experience. The new venue accommodates private events for up to 150 people.
Imagine's priceless collection includes groundbreaking work from Harvey Littleton and Dominick Labino, who pioneered the medium in the early 1960s. Also featured in the 35,000-square-foot former bank are works from a variety of celebrated artists including Dale Chihuly, William Morris and Toots Zynsky. Additionally, the museum is hosting through January "Unseen Worlds," an enchanting array of botanical glass orbs crafted by Paul Stankard, regarded as the father of modern glass paperweights, and who is represented in more than 60 museums around the world.
 
Imagine Museum is the progeny of art collector and benefactor Trish Duggan, whose affection for glass art came about after taking glass-casting classes from Clearwater artist Marlene Rose. Imagine's deputy director, Jane Buckman, said Duggan's involvement with the region's burgeoning arts scene was key to the philanthropist's founding the transcendent museum in St. Pete. "[Duggan] saw a community that would appreciate her engagement and her investment," Buckman noted.