Chemistry and Color: The Science of How Glass Gets its Colors
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1330 National Rd., Wheeling, WV

Chemistry and Color: The Science of How Glass Gets its Colors

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Event Details

The Museums of Oglebay Institute present the exhibit Chemistry and Color: The Science of How Glass Gets its Colors.

It is on display in the Frey-Hires Gallery of Oglebay Institute’s Glass Museum  July 1—January 7, 2024.

About the Exhibit

The science of creating color in glass has been carefully guarded by chemists since the earliest days of glassmaking. Beginning with the Egyptians, people discovered that oxidizing metal was the catalyst for color. By the time of the Roman Empire, glass formulas—called recipes—were trade secrets, and remained so within glass companies for centuries.

This exhibit explores the chemistry behind the colors. Some of the metals are rare and expensive, such as gold, silver, and uranium, and some are everyday household items such as sugar.

Basic colors including red, blue, black, green, yellow, gold, turquoise, and purple, along with early green glass bottles and flasks, lead crystal, Wheeling Peachblow, and Carnival are some of the glass pieces featured in this colorful exhibit.

See the Exhibit

Chemistry and Color is included with admission to the Glass Museum

Admission is $15 for both museums (Mansion and Glass Museum); $10 for a single museum. Admission is free for ages 17 and under accompanied by an adult and free to Oglebay Institute members.

The Museums of Oglebay Institute are open 10am-5pm daily April- November. For year-round hours, click here.

Call 304-242-7272 for more information.

About the Museums of Oglebay Institute

At the Museums of Oglebay Institute, the universal human experience of storytelling is interwoven with our inherent desire to gather, sort and display things. By meticulously collecting, caring for, showcasing and interpreting objects, the museums discover, preserve and share stories, linking us to the past in tangible and intangible ways.

Before the iconic 1846 yellow mansion became the first accredited museum in West Virginia, it was the summer home of Cleveland industrialist Earl W. Oglebay. Today, as Oglebay Institute’s Mansion Museum, it invites visitors to connect with history and the people who lived it.

Each of the museum’s thirteen period rooms takes guests on a journey through the lives of the people who might have used the objects inside—and the historic events that marked the times.

Across the hill, Oglebay Institute’s Glass Museum celebrates local industry with more than 3,500 pieces of Wheeling-made glass. From walking sticks to everyday dishes to the world’s largest piece of cut lead glass, the collection functions as a visual narrative of the Ohio Valley’s long legacy of glassmaking and the craftsmen who made it possible. Visitors can also experience the art of glassmaking through live demonstrations and workshops in OI’s glass studio.

Through careful curation, the Museums of Oglebay Institute go beyond exhibition to education. Together, they serve as informal classrooms where visitors travel through time, connecting with the past through the things that people have left behind.


July 1, 2023 - January 7, 2024 (All Day)(GMT-04:00)


The Museums of Oglebay Institute

Oglebay Resort, Wheeling, WV

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