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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sandwich Glass Museum

The Old and the New

Sandwich’s history is prominent in the Sandwich Heritage Trail which features ten exceptional museums and historical sites that we are proud to share with guest from around the world who come to stay at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast.

For years Sandwich, MA was known as the Museum Town, for the likes of the Heritage Plantation, Glass Museum, Doll Museum, etc. Today, we promote our key historical and geographic pedigree and the Sandwich Chamber modestly proclaims that ‘Cape Cod begins here’. This positioning statement of fact recognizes Sandwich, incorporated in 1637, as the oldest town on Cape Cod and that Sandwich is literally the first ground that 100s of thousands of visitors touch annually as they cross the Sagamore Bridge, leaving the mainland behind.

We are happily located in the historic Town Hall Square and across the street from the Sandwich Glass Museum. This museum was established in 1907 as the Sandwich Historical Society with a mission defined as “collects, preserves and interprets the history of the Town of Sandwich”.  In addition to being the oldest town on Cape Cod, a large part of Sandwich history is involved with American glass production. Sandwich was the world center of pressed glass production in the mid-1800s and the Sandwich Glass Museum is the major repository of the highly collectable Sandwich glass. We arrived in Sandwich in 2003, just in time for the dedication of the then brand new museum expansion that "Relight the fires in Sandwich" with a fully functional glass furnace where visitors see daily entertaining glassblowing demonstrations.

Guests at our inn enjoy seeing the art of glassblowing and the historical exhibits that show the output of the long gone massive factory that dominated Sandwich during the 1800s. The Sandwich Glass Museum is not a dusty and stagnant accumulation of the past. Its special exhibits and events create a fascinating, continuously changing look at art as expressed in the medium of glass. I attend the opening reception of the new exhibit of Ricky Bernstein’s Kitchen Dreams. I was overwhelmed by the innovation and scale of his  work and fully agreed with the invitations statement of ‘Ricky’s larger than life wall relief sculptures will astound and amuse even the most serious’.

Mr. Bernstein is a nationally acclaimed artist and sculptor whose collage-style glass and aluminum wall reliefs tell a story with a decided pop-art flavor. They are not only colorful and masterfully created; they uniquely feature a slice of Americana. Originally from Providence, RI, his work is featured in galleries and museums nationally and internationally.

This exhibit runs through October 30, 2011 and is just one more reason we encourage all of the guests at our Sandwich inn to walk across the street and spend some time at the Sandwich Glass Museum.

Charlie Preus, the Innkeepers Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

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