Eleanor Turshin operated a jewelry factory that dealt mostly in precious metals. While traveling extensively to sell her products, she became interested in antiques, but most specifically, Eleanor became intrigued with glass. One day upon walking into an antique shop, she spied a purple Steuben Cluthra vase. Eleanor purchased this rare piece for a mere $40! After she obtained the vase, Eleanor researched colored Steuben glass and learned more and more on glass in general. Eleanor bought additional pieces that she knew would contribute to the value of her collection.
Historic Samuel Cupples House at Saint Louis University proudly displays the fruits of Eleanor Turshin's interest and knowledge of valuable glass in the Eleanor Turshin Glass Collection.
Art Nouveau was an important artistic movement that represented the changing tastes and times at the turn of the century. It appeared in the beginning of the 1900's and emphasized the beauty of everyday objects. Notice how there are very few non-functional pieces. Art Nouveau rejected the classical approach to art, which stresses order, restraint and symmetry. Instead, this new movement features asymmetric design, stylized interpretations of nature and organic flowing lines. Art nouveau advanced theories advocating the role of the craftsman, artistry and individualism. Notice the bright colors and fluid shapes of these pieces as they are indicative of the art nouveau style. Around the 1920s, Art Nouveau gave way to Art Deco, which emphasized order, symmetry and geometric forms. The linear more formal pieces in the Turshin Collection are examples of Art Deco glassware.