The donor of one of the Museum of American Glass of West Virginia (MAGWV) top treasures made a recent stop in Weston and detailed the story of how the piece came to into existence, as well as the story of how it came to be at the local museum.
Shirley Skiziat of Pittsburgh donated “Dauschbach”, a 13-room stained glass dollhouse to MAGWV last year. The one-of-a-kind dollhouse was built for her parents by Linda Young of Parrish , Florida, a well known artist who makes museum quality art objects in the form of glass display cases out of Lady Jane Studios.
The story of how Dauschbach came into existence began in 1996 when Skiziat’s parents, Barbara and Bernie Bischoff, attended Chicago International, a popular show for miniaturists. The Bischoff’s were art glass collectors and Barbara had always wanted a dollhouse. She made contact with Young and Lady Jane Studio and after debating it the Bischoffs commissioned the artist to create the first piece of what would grow to be a 13 room dollhouse.
Skiziat said that in planning the dollhouse that she told her father it would be an expensive proposition. Her father compared the cost of the first part of the dollhouse to the price of a car. Several years and several rooms later Skiziat asked her father if he knew he was buying a Rolls Royce when he began to spend money on an art piece. Skiziat said her father simply turned out his pockets and said, “No,” making everyone present erupt in laughter.
MAGWV’s “All About Glass” magazine detailed the production of the piece in their July 2017 issue saying that the house is made up of 1165 pieces of stained glass cut from 41 sheets of two foot by four foot art glass and was fitted together in “Tiffany style” of foil and solder.
“It’s unique. I don’t know of another museum you can go to and see a glass house of this size,” said Tom Felt Executive Director of MAGWV of the treasure.
Skiziat had nothing but praise for the museum in their handling and set up of the dollhouse. She also noted that the idea of the dollhouse languishing in storage after her mother’s passing was a very sad thought for her, and that she was glad the museum could provide a space for people to enjoy the work of art.
“We can’t thank them enough. We love them,” Skiziat said of the volunteers at MAGWV.