The Museum’s gallery of modern glass features international decorative arts, design, objects, stained glass, and sculptures dating from about 1900 to 1975.
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, Peter Behrens, Umberto Bellotto, E. C. Burne-Jones, Frederick Carder, Daum Frères, Georges Despret, Christopher Dresser, Emile Gallé, Josef Hoffmann, Hans Stoltenberg Lerche, Johann Loetz Witwe, Koloman Moser, Michael Powolny, Otto Prutscher, Louis Comfort Tiffany, the Wiener Werkstätte, and Frank Lloyd Wright.
Art Deco glass, produced between the two world wars, includes vessels, sculpture, and furniture by Alvar Aalto, Marcel Breuer, Aristide-Michel Colotte, René-André Coulon, François-Emile Décorchemont, Simon Gate, Marcel Goupy, Edward Hald, René Lalique, Vicke Lindstrand, Adolf Loos, Maurice Marinot, Napoleone Martinuzzi, Ulderico Moretti, Dagobert Peche, Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti, Gerrit Rietveld, Jean Sala, Carlo Scarpa, Steuben, Walter Dorwin Teague, Wilhelm Wagenfeld, Sidney Waugh, 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, Kaj Franck, Michael and Frances Higgins, Pavel Hlava, Erik Höglund, Saara Hopea, Iittala, Toshichi Iwata, Nils Landberg, Ingeborg Lundin, Per Lütken, Dino Martens, Carlo Nason, Gunnel Nyman, Timo Sarpaneva, Archimede Seguso, Nanny Still, Venini, Massimo Vignelli, Tapio Wirkkala, and Russell Wright. Painters and sculptors also made work in glass, such as Gio Colucci, Jean Cocteau, Antoni Clavé, Claire Falkenstein, Rebecca James, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Stearns, and Mark Tobey.
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. Early studio glass is represented by the work of Andre Billeci, John Burton, Dale Chihuly, Fritz Dreisbach, Erwin Eisch, Henry Halem, Vladimír Kopecký, Dominick Labino, Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová, Marvin Lipofsky, Věra Lišková, Harvey Littleton, Richard Marquis, Joel Philip Myers, Tom Patti, Mark Peiser, René Roubíček, Mary Shaffer, and František Vízner.
New on View in the Modern Gallery
During the winter of 2014, the Modern Gallery received new works that help to tell the story of the journey of glass from a functional material to a material focused on artistic expression. Additional postwar glass was added, allowing early American and European studio glass to be appreciated in the context of mid 20th-century design.