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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-2692
Phone: (410) 516-7160
Fax (410) 516-5251

December 29, 1999
CONTACT: Catherine Rogers Arthur or
Judith Proffitt, 410-516-5589

Glass Armonica Concert to Open Homewood Exhibition

Homewood House Museum will open the exhibition, Bubble to Bottle, Pontil to Prism: Early Glass in Maryland, 1785 1835 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 20, with a reception and performance on the glass armonica by Carolinn Skyler.

The glass armonica, invented in 1761 by Benjamin Franklin, is one of America's earliest instruments. Franklin wanted to recreate the delicate, ethereal tones a drinking glass creates when its rims are rubbed with a moistened finger. He recreated that sound by mounting tuned glass bowls on a spindle, using a flywheel and a foot treadle to spin the bowls, and applying moistened fingers to the rim of the bowls.

Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert all wrote pieces to be played on the glass armonica. More recently, composer John Williams used the instrument in his score for the film Interview with a Vampire. Fewer than 25 people know how to play a glass armonica; Skyler, of Boston, is among the best known.

Bubble to Bottle, Pontil to Prism: Early Glass in Maryland, 1785 1835 celebrates glass made and used in Maryland's Federal Era with examples from Homewood, seldom-seen private collections and major museums. The exhibit will look at the many types of glassware popular during the Federal Era in Maryland, including imported glass, mirror glass, ‚glomise or reverse painted glass used as furniture and architectural ornamentation, lighting fixtures, tinted spectacles for reading and other optical devices to enhance vision and even musical instruments.

The reception and concert are free to members and $25 for non-members, including an annual membership to Homewood House Museum. Homewood House is at 3400 N. Charles Street in Baltimore on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University. For information, call 410-516-5589.

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