Indepth Arts News: |
"Art and Design in Italian Glass:
The Steinberg Foundation Collection,
New Exhibition Presents Glass from Murano, 1930 -1970"
2000-11-07 until 2001-01-14
Corning Incorporated Gallery at Steuben
New York, ,
USA United States of America
This exhibition will present a selection from the comprehensive
collection of Italian art glass belonging to The Steinberg Foundation in
Liechtenstein. Italian glass is one of today's most active fields of
research and collecting, said exhibition curator Tina Oldknow. Since
ancient times, Italy - and especially Venice and Murano - has been the
locale of some of the greatest achievements in the history of glassmaking.
Italian glass of the mid 20th-century continues this historic trend.
The glass collected by The Steinberg Foundation was created on the
Venetian island of Murano. The exhibition will feature outstanding objects
by such internationally known names in glass design as Alfredo Barbini (b.
1912), Ercole Barovier (1889-1974), Fulvio Bianconi (1915-1996), Riccardo
Licata (b. 1929), Tyra Lundgren (1897-1979), Dino Martens (1894-1970),
Flavio Poli (1900-1984), Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978), Archimede Seguso
(1909-1999), Paolo Venini (1895-1959), and Tapio Wirkkala (1915-1985).
Muranese glass companies represented in the exhibition include Alfredo
Barbini, Arte Vetraria Muranese (A.VE.M.), Barovier & Toso, Fratelli Toso,
Seguso Vetri d'Arte, Venini, Vetreria Archimede Seguso, Vetreria Aureliano
Toso, Vetreria Gino Cenedese, and Vetreria Vistosi.
Muranese glass at the beginning of the 20th century was characterized by
popular but old-fashioned styles that incorporated baroque forms and fussy,
overly complicated decorations. More restrained revivals of historic styles
in glass were also typical of turn-of-the-century Venetian glass. Glass
design on Murano began its reinvention in the 1920s. The field was infused
with new life by architect-designers, as well as by local and foreign
artists, who worked with Muranese glassblowers to produce new and
challenging avant-garde designs in glass, while maintaining the island's
traditional high standards of quality. Without the superb technical
resources of Murano's renowned glass masters, many of the new concepts could
never have been realized.
We chose to develop a collection that afforded us the opportunity
to clarify and analyze an aspect of 20th-century art that was still obscure,
one with historical associations and artistic and aesthetic questions that
needed further study, said Dr. Lambert Grasern, curator of The Steinberg
Foundation. We saw it as our mission to sift and reappraise
mid-20th-century Italian glass with the aim of furthering knowledge of the
Following World War II, Italian design established an international
reputation for style and sophistication in a number of design fields,
including automobiles, furniture and furnishings, lighting, interior design,
and fashion. This intensely creative period in Italian design was echoed in
the glass developed on Murano. Not since the Renaissance had Murano
commanded as much international attention for the innovative and popular
designs of its glass, or the outstanding quality of its production. Styles
ranged from architect Carlo Scarpa's subtle vessels exploring concepts of
light and space in glass to the dynamic, expressionistic, and colorful vases
of Fulvio Bianconi and Dino Martens.
A comprehensive catalogue with 250 color illustrations of The Steinberg
Foundation collection, Italian Glass, 1930-1970: Masterpieces from Murano
and Milan, accompanies the exhibition at The Corning Incorporated Gallery.
Co-authored by Prof. Dr. Helmut Ricke, director of the Kunstmuseum
Düsseldorf, and Eva Schmitt, the book was published in 1997 by Prestel
Verlag, Munich and is available for purchase at the Gallery or on order from
the Museum Shop at The Corning Museum of Glass.