Mom’s Glass Menagerie


My mother collected glass animals, the kind you could buy at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. She loved their elegant beauty, and we loved that it made it easy to think of gifts for her at birthdays and Christmas. My father made a set of shelves with nooks of various sizes for various creatures, walnut on the outside, flocked matte black inside, which hung on the wall in our living room as I was growing up. I was fascinated, not only by how they looked, but the smooth weight of them, and by the humor of an elegant glass snail or mouse. I’ve snapped a picture of a few of them here, but not all. There’s also a bear, a penguin, a whale — a whole menagerie indeed.

Mom died in 1975. My sister and I split up her collection between us, and I was lucky enough to get the set of shelves as well. I filled in the empty spaces with my own set of class paperweights, which have the same smooth weight but not the quirky personality of her glass animals. The shelves are a link with my mother that I get to look at every day.

Posted in response to the WordPress Photo Challenge: Nostalgia