All About Glass

All About Glass

This is your resource for exploring various topics in glass: delve deeper  with this collection of articles, multimedia, and virtual books all about glass. Content is frequently added to the area, so check back for new items. If you have a topic you'd like to see covered, send us your suggestion. If you have a specific question, Ask a Librarian at our Rakow Research Library.

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René Lalique
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Glass is a wonderful substance. Everything makes it an incomparable plastic medium in the hands of an ingenious artist, offering his imagination and talent almost limitless scope for discovery. ―René Lalique 1 From 1884, when his first jewelry designs were displayed at the Musée du Louvre, until

Countless Variations: Lens Combinations
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The world began to realize that so far it had only toyed with glass. Now a brand new material was born.     -Walter Kioulehn, Odyssey of the 41 Glassmakers, 1959 By the mid-1800s, there were still only two kinds of optical glass: soda-lime crown glass and lead-containing flint glass. Opticians

Designing for a New Century: Works on Paper by René Lalique and His Contemporaries
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In 1851, the first international exhibition of culture and industry took place in London. Known as The Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace Exhibition, this showcase for the world of industry and design began a tradition that lasted longer than a century and undoubtedly influenced global trends

Frederick Carder: The Early Years: An exploration of Carder’s years at Stevens & Williams
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Frederick Carder was born on September 18, 1863, in Brockmoor, Kingswinford, Staffordshire (now part of the English county of West Midlands), the son of Caleb and Annie Carder. His father and grandfather owned Leys Pottery, and by the age of 14, Frederick Carder had left school in order to start

Tiffany Treasures: Favrile Glass from Special Collections
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The innovations and artistry of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848 – 1933) were explored in the winter of 2010 in two new Museum exhibitions. Tiffany Treasures: %%Favrile%% Glass from Special Collections (November 1, 2009 – October 31, 2010), was shown on the Museum’s West Bridge. It featured nearly 60 of

Masters of Studio Glass: Erwin Eisch
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A special exhibition of 22 vessels and sculptures by Erwin Eisch (German, b. 1927), one of the founders of studio glass in Europe, was in view at The Corning Museum of Glass from March 15, 2012 through February 3, 2013. The exhibition recognized Eisch for his achievements in developing glass as a

“Flexible” Roman Glass?
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There are three sources that concern the story of the “flexible” glass of first century Rome: Pliny’s Natural History, Petronius’ Satyricon, and Dio Cassius’ Roman History. Petronius (d. 63 A.D.) published the story before Pliny, who completed his encyclopedia in 78 A.D. Dio Cassius’ story is much

Glass in the Price Edict of Diocletian
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In A.D. 301, Emperor Diocletian attempted to halt a rapid rise in prices by issuing his Edictum de pretiis (Edict on prices), which established maximum prices and wages throughout the Roman Empire. Copies of the edict were inscribed in Latin or Greek on marble panels and posted in prominent places.

Glass in the Epigrams of Martial
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The Verses of Martial, which were composed between A.D. 83 and 102, mostly in Rome, contain 12 explicit references to objects made of glass (for which Martial uses the noun vitrium or the adjective vitreus), together with two references to "Vatinian cups" (calices Vatinii), which appear

Cross-Cultural Influences in Glassmaking in the 18th and 19th Centuries
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East Influences West In Western Europe, the influence of East and South Asian products imported by the English, Dutch, and French East India Companies in the 18th and 19th centuries had a significant impact on style and art. European artists, fascinated by Oriental designs, architecture, and

East Meets West: Cross-Cultural Influences in Glassmaking in the 18th and 19th Centuries
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Beginning in the 13th century, the philosophies, scientific discoveries, and artistic achievements of East Asia gradually became known in Europe. The Chinese began large-scale international trade during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), exchanging goods with Western merchant travelers. 1 The

The Estonian Glasshouse of Hüti, 1628–1664
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Before his death, Maks Roosma, Professor in the Department of Glass, State Art Institute, Tallinn, Estonia, sent a brief article summarizing the results of his research into the history of the most important early glasshouse in Estonia. Professor Roosma had conducted an archaeological excavation on

Depictions of Glassmaking in Diderot’s Encyclopédie
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Denis Diderot and Jean Le Rond d’Alembert published their much acclaimed Encyclopédie in Paris from 1751 to 1765. To illustrate their entries, they commissioned several hundred engraved images depicting artistic crafts and common trades in preindustrial France. Since pictorial representations of

A Recently Discovered Cage Cup
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This paper describes and discusses a late Roman cage cup that appeared on the market in 1986 and was acquired by The Corning Museum of Glass in 1987. 1 The hemispherical glass cup has metal fittings which indicate that, at the time of burial, it was meant to be suspended. This raises the

Byzantine Silver Stain: Another Example?
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In last year's Journal of Glass Studies [Vol. 42], Mark T. Wypyski and the present authors described a fragmentary vessel decorated with silver stain, and concluded that it is Byzantine and of about the 10th century. 1 We compared the fragment with the celebrated bowl with painted ornament in

Roman Glass Boats
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This note discusses the function of a group of Roman glass models of boats. Six boats are known. They were found at Pompeii (two examples, including Fig. 1), 1 Palombara in Sabina, 2 Aquileia 3 and Santa Elena di Melma near Treviso in ltaly, 4 and St. Aldegund near Koblenz in Germany. 5 All of the

The Transition from Natron to Plant Ash in the Levant
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The basic components of early glasses were soda, lime, and silica. In the Mediterranean region and Western Asia, these three components were usually introduced in the form of two ingredients: either natron (soda) and sand containing shell fragments (silica and lime), or ash derived from halophytic

The Date of the Glass from Karanis
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Today, more than 60 years after its publication, Donald B. Harden's monograph on the glass from Karanis 1 is still one of the most frequently cited sources of information on the glass of Roman Egypt. The quantity of objects found at the site and their excellent state of preservation provided

Masters of Studio Glass: Richard Marquis
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Richard Marquis, a self-described glassblower and collector of beat-up, vintage objects, has had an extraordinary influence on the development of contemporary studio glass in America and around the world. As an artist, he is admired for his understanding of color and form as well as for his humor

Medieval Glassmaking in the Levant
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In 1973, a sponge diver reported the discovery of an underwater shipwreck at Serçe Limani on the south coast of Turkey, opposite Rhodes. The wreck was investigated by Professor George Bass, of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, between 1977 and 1979. His investigation revealed that part of the

A Conversation Between Liza Lou, Contemporary Sculptor and Installation Artist and Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass
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Tina Oldknow: I thought we would begin our conversation by discussing one sculpture in particular: Continuous Mile. How did the idea for this work come about? Liza Lou: Continuous Mile is a meditation on process. It’s a project that is spread across seven different townships in KwaZulu-Natal. The

Bees and Butterflies: Two Drawings by Harry Clarke
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In March 1996, the Rakow Library of The Corning Museum of Glass acquired two important drawings by the early 20th-century Irish stained glass artist Harry Clarke 1 (1889–1931). One of these drawings, created in 1914, is a detailed design for Clarke's "St. Gobnet" window in the Honan

Weathered Archaeological Glass
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Glass is found at archaeological excavations in a variety of conditions. The glass condition can range from pristine, where no deterioration is visible, to so heavily degraded that practically all the glass has been transformed into corrosion products. The deterioration of the glass surface is

René Lalique: Design Drawings for a Perfume Pendant and a Perfume Bottle
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Thanks largely to René Lalique (1860–1945), glass became one of the liveliest forms of expression in French decorative arts during the first half of the 20th century. In the vanguard of both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements, Lalique helped to reinvigorate the market for French luxury goods.

Early Modern Printed Books at the Rakow Library, 1450-1550: An Introduction
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A select group of rare books in the Rakow Research Library’s collection serve not only as repositories of early glass knowledge but also as artifacts of fine bookmaking. They were written by ancient authors and printed some 1,000 years later during the first century of modern printing (about 1450

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio's De architectura (On architecture) printed in Rome, 1486
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In the canon of architectural writings, this ancient Roman Latin text stands at the summit. It was written by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (fl. first century B.C.) sometime in the late first century B.C. Today’s architecture students find it on their reading lists, and it is still available in paperback

Strabo's De situ orbis printed in Venice, 1472
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When Johannes de Spira died in 1470, the printing business he had started was taken over by his brother, Vindelinus. Two years later, Vindelinus published Strabo’s De situ orbis, an ancient geographical text consisting of 17 books. A first edition of this work had been issued in Rome in 1469 by

Aristophanes' Nine Comedies and Aristotle's Works printed in Greek by Aldus Manutius in Venice, 1498
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One of the most learned scholar-printers in Venice was Aldus Manutius (1449–1515). He designed a Greek type font that, beginning about 1495, he used to print a series of texts by the ancient Greek masters. The Rakow Research Library has two of these original Aldine editions in its collection. One

Dio Cassius' Roman History printed by Robert Estienne in Paris, 1548
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One might say that the 16 th century scholar-printer Robert Estienne (1503-1559) inherited from Aldus Manutius the mantle of Greek printing. At the very least, he must have felt an affinity with Aldus based on his love for the ancient Greek writings and his desire to render them in modern

Flavius Josephus’ books on Jewish history printed by Johann Schüssler in Augsburg, 1470
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One of the most reliable sources of ancient Jewish history is Flavius Josephus (about 37–97 A.D.), a native of Jerusalem and a learned statesman who became a favorite of Roman emperors. His two chief works, De bello Judaico (The Jewish war) and De antiquitate Judaica (Jewish antiquities), are bound

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