Collector and curator Ron Glasser stands among the shells in his “Jewels of the Sea” exhibit at Discovery Hall in Troy.
TROY Tucked between two walls on Second Street exists a little taste of nature. It is here where collector and curator, Ron Glasser keeps his collection of more than 1,000 seashells from all over the world.
The place is called Discovery Hall and the exhibit is “Jewels of the Sea,” an exhibition of seashells from all over the world including the largest and one of the smallest, which can only be seen through a microscope.
Glasser keeps his personal collection of shells available and open to the public in the hope that it will give people an appreciation for the natural world around them.
“I’m trying little by little to give people a perspective about what nature comes from,” Glasser said. “We are about human beings. We can’t forget nature, how we function and where we come from. Take the smartphone out of your hands, and take a look of what nature is about.”
Glasser and his wife began collecting the shells more than 30 years ago.
“They come from all over the world. My wife and I have collected primarily from Nova Scotia down to the Keys, and we went out to Alaska about six years ago on a cruise and collected a number there,” Glasser said.
Glasser moved his collection to Discovery Hall about a year-and-a-half ago. Before that time, the shells were stored in his home.
“It got to the point where I had them all in little cabinets and drawers all categorized,” Glasser said. “The room became so full and stacked that it got to the point where I couldn’t enjoy them anymore.”
Glasser has always dreamed of having a hands-on museum.
“Discovery Hall is something I came up with a couple of years ago. It’s a continuing ed opportunity for people of all ages. There is no specific subject matter that we stick to. Anyone good at what they do and willing to teach classes — we give them the opportunity. We have everything from cheese-making to math tutoring,” Glasser said.