BETHANY, W.Va. – Dr. Robert L. Martin, Bethany College graduate with the Class of 1940, will have his Wheeling Decorating Glass collection dedicated to the College on Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. in the Academic Parlour of Old Main. Refreshments will be served.
The keynote speaker will be James L. Webster, an expert on Wheeling Decorating Glass. He recently authored a book on the topic which serves as an identification and value guide. Webster will share facts and history of the business and its place in American antiques and collectibles.
"I think a great liberal arts college like Bethany deserves great art and it has been my goal to collect the beautiful Wheeling Decorating porcelain for the Bethany community to enjoy and study," Martin said.
Martin began his collection five years ago and wanted to donate his glass collection to the College to accompany the Ohio Valley Collection located in T.W. Phillips Memorial Library. Currently, he has over 400 pieces in the collection, most of which were bought at auction or estate sales.
The Wheeling Decorating Glass Company, which operated from 1869 to 1962, decorated glass, china, pottery and porcelain with their trademark gold leafing. The company, often referred to as WDCO, purchased blanks from companies around the world including Cambridge, Central Glass, Fenton, Fostoria, Homer Laughlin, Lenox and many more.