The Museum’s gallery of modern glass features international decorative arts, design, objects, stained glass, and sculptures dating from about 1900 to 1990.
After 1900, fine art and design in every medium, including glass, experienced radical changes. During the late 19th century, explorations by designers and advances in industry had changed perceptions about glass design and the use of glass as a medium for art. Historical glassworking techniques had been revived, and experiments had been made with new colors. These developments equipped glassmakers with the tools to reinvent glass for the new century. Gallery highlights from this period include Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau glass by numerous designers and glass companies, such as Gabriel Argy-Rousseau, Artisti Barovier, E. C. Burne-Jones, Frederick Carder, Daum Frères, Christopher Dresser, Emile Gallé, Josef Hoffmann, Johann Loetz Witwe, Louis Comfort Tiffany, the Wiener Werkstätte, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Art Deco glass, produced between the two world wars, includes the work of Alvar Aalto, Piero Fornasetti, Simon Gate, Edward Hald, René Lalique, Adolf Loos, Maurice Marinot, Napoleone Martinuzzi, Jean Sala, Steuben, Walter Dorwin Teague, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, and Vittorio Zecchin.
After 1945, styles in art, architecture, and the decorative arts became even more global. The diversity of artistic styles and the new interest in design are reflected in postwar art glass, which ranges from mass-produced commercial glassware to limited-edition and one-of-a-kind objects. Mid-20th-century glass includes designs by Barovier & Toso, Fulvio Bianconi, Andries Dirk Copier, Edris Eckhardt, Michael and Frances Higgins, Pavel Hlava, Iittala, Vicke Lindstrand, Per Lütken, Timo Sarpaneva, Carlo Scarpa, Venini, Tapio Wirkkala, and Russell Wright.
Two Americans, the artist Harvey K. Littleton and the scientist Dominick Labino, led the way for the transformation of glass after 1962. Artists began to make a wide range of glass in their studios, outside the factory, using glass as a medium for craft, design, and art. The burst of international artistic activity in glass at this time is known as the Studio Glass movement.
Studio glass and design from this period are represented by the work of Dale Chihuly, Fritz Dreisbach, Erwin Eisch, Claire Falkenstein, David Huchthausen, Vladimír Kopecký, Dominick Labino, Marvin Lipofsky, Věra Lišková, Harvey Littleton, Richard Marquis, Tom Patti, Mark Peiser, René Roubíček, and Ettore Sottsass.