Message from the President March 2011

A Closer Look at the Convention

By Brian Pitman, March 2011

The 2011 ICGA Annual Convention has been fully planned for quite some time now, but one of the biggest questions I hear from members is “what is the auction like?” Jim and Darlene Grogan have been longtime ICGA members from California, and Darlene has been on the ICGA Board of Directors for some time as well. However, living in California (in lovely Morro Bay, which can best be described as “that place in California you always see on television with surfing, mind-blowing sunsets and GREAT wine”) has insulated the Grogans a bit, and not everyone is familiar with them or their collection. So, I took some time to talk to Darlene a bit so that we can share with you a little more about them and their collection.

Brian: You guys have a great collection from what I have seen in person, as well as some beautiful photographs. I imagine it was a hard decision to sell, so why are you selling?
Darlene: We are selling our collection, primarily to downsize; we are running out of display space! We are not going to stop collecting this wonderful glass, but will try to limit our purchases.

Brian: I was fortunate enough to see some highlights of your collection when you and Jim gave the banquet speech at Air Capital last year, and I was very impressed. You seemed very connected to your glass, with each piece having a memory or person it represented. What are your favorites in the collection you will be selling at ICGA this year?
Darlene: That’s a tough one, as I like all of my glass for one reason or another. But I’ll try to answer that.

Number One would be the Farmyard 3N1 edge in purple. Why? I love the shape and the wonderful magenta (purplish-red) iridescence.
Number Two is the Imperial Grape Punch Bowl in purple with wonderful blue iridescence highlights. Why? I love punch sets!
Number Three is the Grape and Cable tobacco humidor in dark marigold with the greatest pink highlights. Why? It’s beautiful and I purchased it in tobacco growing country in Missouri (I’m a little sentimental I guess.)
Number Four would be the Homestead Plate in purple with outstanding iridescence and the Greek key border is perfect with wonderful green iridescence.
Number Five is the Lime green Peacock at the Fountain punch set. I just love this pattern and the color is rare!

Brian: So what was it that drew you to carnival glass originally?
Darlene: In the beginning (and still today) I was drawn because I think is beautiful glass and I like to display it. I was also drawn to the educational process I guess you would call it, first studying Marion Hartung’s books of patterns and then learning the about the mould making and the artistry involved, not to mention the ongoing seminars at meetings and conventions, newsletters, etc. It really keeps me interested! Finally, the wonderful friends we have made has been a wonderful bonus!

Brian: Well you are definitely a very fun couple and I see you at a LOT of conventions! That’s pretty uncommon for collectors from California. Okay, let’s change directions a bit. If someone is coming to see your collection at the ICGA Convention in St. Louis in July, what are they going to be able to find and buy?
Darlene: Overall, they will find a diversity of items: advertising pieces, hatpin holders and hatpins, punch sets, water sets, lots of Imperial purple, and people have told me I have a good eye for color.
Brian: And they would be right, you have some fantastic color in your collection!

Speaking with Darlene was a lot of fun, and she is a great member of our Association! If you want to learn even more about the glass you will be seeing during the auction at the convention, login to the ICGA Website at to see the full video of their presentation at Air Capital, along with several of their pieces. Registration for the convention is also live on the website (as well as in this issue of the Pump!)

Our program for the convention features a display room on Advertising Pieces, a seminar on candlesticks, and so much more. Enjoy your Spring, and I look forward to seeing all of you in St. Louis in July!