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Dorothy Weiss Gallery records, circa 1964-2001, bulk 1984-2000

Historical Note

Dorothy Weiss founded the Dorothy Weiss Gallery in 1984. From 1977 Weiss had partnered with Sue Meyer and Virginia Breier in Meyer Breier Weiss Contemporary Crafts, Inc. She opened her new gallery in what was to be its permanent location at 256 Sutter Street in downtown San Francisco.
The Dorothy Weiss Gallery was renowned in San Francisco for the quality of its crafts program and the artists it represented. Weiss focused on contemporary ceramic and glass sculpture with an emphasis on non-functional, sculptural work. She also showed some paintings, drawings and monotypes, and her interests in this area expanded, particularly in the mid-1990s, when she began exhibiting works by artists such as Daniel Brice, in addition to showing drawings by artists generally known for their sculpture.
Weiss represented many of the country's most prominent and well-respected artists working in glass, including Hank Murta Adams, Dale Chihuly, Richard Marquis, William Morris, Jay Musler, Clifford Rainey, Italo Scanga, Therman Statom, and James Watkins. Glass exhibitions at the gallery included site-specific installations by artists such as Statom, Adams, and Rainey.
The gallery was also an important venue for contemporary ceramists such as Rudy Autio, Annette Corcoran, Ruth Duckworth, Michael Lucero, Beverly Mayeri, and Robert Turner. Monthly exhibitions were held on the Third floor with the Fourth floor gallery space being reserved for a variety of work by gallery artists. "Teapot Invitationals," and exhibitions of "new glass" featuring teapots and glass sculpture by a variety of artists were held regularly at the gallery.
Weiss was an active participant in the wider art community, hosting collector's groups from around the country and guests during conferences, such as a special Glass Invitational in conjunction with the Glass Art Society Conference in March 1994. As a member of the San Francisco Art Dealers Association (SFADA), Weiss participated in First Thursday, holding opening receptions to new exhibitions on the first Thursday of every month and often accompanying them with artists' talks. She also participated in an annual Introductions show along with other SFADA members, representing younger, emerging artists in the Bay Area and nationwide. In addition, Weiss assisted the American Craft Museum in developing its exhibition programs, and was a Collectors Circle Affiliate for the American Craft Council.
Dorothy Weiss closed the gallery in 2000, retiring at the age of eighty. On October 4 of that year the Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco opened A Tribute to Dorothy Weiss, an exhibition selected from her own collection.