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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Glass of the Maharajahs
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The Tradition of Glass Furniture The tradition of glass furniture began in the early nineteenth century when the Russian Imperial Glass Works created several tables for members of the imperial family. But it was the opening of the 1851 Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in

The Tradition of the Avant-Garde: Bohemian Glass, 1820–1935
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What is your first association with the term “bohemian”? Does it evoke a fine beer-brewing tradition, or connote unpronounceable town names? Germans have a saying: “lauter böhmische Dörfer” (nothing but Bohemian villages), referring to something completely incomprehensible, because of the odd

Harvey K. Littleton and the American Studio Glass Movement
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Harvey Littleton is internationally acclaimed and recognized for his tireless work in  %%founding%% and promoting the American Studio Glass movement.  The movement was “born” in 1962, during two seminal glassblowing workshops at The Toledo Museum of Art.  The workshops were led by Littleton, a

A Trip Up a Goat Path Unearths Blaschka-Era Lampworking Table
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Who would have thought that a trip up a goat path would lead to the Museum’s acquisition of a 19th-century lampworking table that was part of the 2007 Botanical Wonders exhibition? In October 2006, Steve Gibbs, the Museum’s manager of events marketing, embarked on a mission to find a lampworking

Fragile Legacy
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From their first commission for glass marine invertebrate models in 1863, to their later production of glass flowers for Harvard University’s well-known Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, Leopold Blaschka (1822 – 1895) and his son Rudolf (1857 – 1939) masterfully captured in glass

Pietro Bigaglia
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One of the most noteworthy contributors to the development of the first paperweight was the 19th century Venetian glassmaker Pietro Bigaglia. Bigaglia’s family owned glassmaking shops in Venice as early as 1674. He made mirrors as well as lamps and window panes decorated with filigree and

Perfume Bottles: From Design Table to Dressing Table
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Since ancient times, perfume bottles have served to contain the most subtle of mysteries: delightful, seductive scents. Before glassblowing, ancient Egyptian artisans fashioned exquisite containers from alabaster, metals, precious stones, and core-formed glass to hold their highly valued perfumes.

Founders of American Studio Glass: Dominick Labino
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At the time that [studio glassworking] began, not one of us involved was aware of the speed with which it would spread. Not only nationally, but internationally. — Dominick Labino, undated manuscript Dominick Labino’s contributions to 20th-century glassmaking were wide-ranging and innovative.

Czech Glass vs. Bohemian Glass
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Do you know the difference between the Czech Republic and Bohemia? The short answer is that there is practically none. Both names refer to nearly the same region, and they are used for historical reasons. From the Middle Ages to 1918, Bohemia was the name of what is today the major part of the

Beyond Venice: Glass in Venetian Style, 1500-1750
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In Renaissance Europe, the compulsion to copy Venetian glassmaking styles and techniques was no simple fashion fad. The glass was clearly superior in almost every way. The glass was called “cristallo” because it was clear and colorless, a quality the Venetians achieved as early as 1440 by making it

Louis Comfort Tiffany Paperweights
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Louis Comfort Tiffany, the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, was born in 1848. At the time of Tiffany’s birth his father owned one of the most prestigious jewelry and silver stores in America. Tiffany grew up around the decorative arts and decided to become a painter in 1866 rather than attend

Drawings for American Stained Glass
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Drawings for American %%Stained Glass%%, a 2010 exhibition at the Museum’s Rakow Research Library, showcased 19th- and 20th-century designs from studios and artists across the United States. These designs illustrated the great diversity in style and subject matter in modern American stained glass,

19th Century French Paperweight Makers
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Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint-Louis Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint-Louis, which is named after the sainted King Louis IX, was founded in Lorraine, France in 1767 and still exists today. Along with Baccarat, it nearly monopolized the French luxury glass industry for many years. In late

Master of Studio Glass: František Vízner
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In 1979, the Museum’s landmark exhibition, New Glass: A Worldwide Survey, introduced to the American public the work of a Czechoslovak glassmaker, František Vízner. Nearly 30 years later, the Museum presented Vizner once again at Corning as a studio glass master. Masters of %%Studio Glass%%:

From the 1908 Ornamental Glass Bulletin: "Odd Uses of Glass"
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"It was only a few months ago that plans were drawn for a house to be built of compressed opalescent glass bricks to be erected at Beechhurst; L.I. The house will be built, as regards material, very similar to some small one and two story office buildings which have been erected in Des Moines,

Restoring Tiffany
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Here’s the ultimate jigsaw puzzle: take 40 pieces of shattered glass in varying sizes, and hundreds of tiny chips of glass, and put them together to restore a rare Tiffany Peacock Eye Lamp base to its full glory. That’s just what the Museum’s conservator, Stephen Koob, has done. Unless you examine

Master of Studio Glass: Richard Craig Meitner
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The ever-evolving work of American artist Richard Craig Meitner, distinguished by its wit and poetry, reflects a variety of influences and ideas, ranging from Japanese textiles, Italian painting, and German Expressionist graphics, to science and the natural world. A new survey of his work, Masters

Glass of the Alchemists
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In the late 17th century, European glassmakers scored two major successes. In Bohemia, the British Isles, and Germany, they produced crystal glass vessels that resembled natural rock crystal. And in Brandenburg, Germany, they also manufactured red vessels—from gold ruby glass—that looked as if they

Glass Behind the Iron Curtain: Czech Design, 1948-1978
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An Interview with Tina Oldknow, Curator of Modern Glass This interview was conducted in December 2001 in preparation for the opening of the 2002 summer exhibition at The Corning Museum of Glass: Glass Behind the Iron Curtain: Czech Design, 1948-1978. The Corning Museum of Glass is known for the

René Roubícek
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René Roubícek is another Czech artist who disguised his obvious interest in abstract art in glass design. Like Jirí Harcuba, Roubícek used glass as expressively as possible. While Harcuba focused on engraved decoration, Roubícek experimented with the actual form of the glass, creating shapes that

The Evolution of the Paperweight
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The earliest paperweights appeared in Europe in the mid-1840s. Venetian glassmaker Pietro Bigaglia created and exhibited the first signed and dated weights at the Vienna Industrial Exposition in 1845. He, like other paperweight makers of the time, revived many ancient glassworking techniques to

About Medieval Glass
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Glass in Ancient Rome In the fourth and fifth centuries AD, the glassmakers of the Roman world were in a class of their own. Glassmaking and glassworking were separate activities. Glassmakers used tank furnaces to melt several tons of raw materials in one operation, and glass workers employed many

Jan Kotík
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This vase, which illustrates the abstract style of engraving characteristic of Jan Kotík’s work, was shown for the first time in the United States as part of the special exhibition, Glass 1959. A similar vase was exhibited at the 1959 Moscow Exhibition, where it drew unfavorable attention. The

Art and Design in Glass in Communist Czechoslovakia
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Czech glass, also called Bohemian glass, has been produced since the Middle Ages. Bohemia was a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire, and from 1867 to 1918, a province of the Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the dissolution of Austro-Hungary in 1918, Bohemia was incorporated into the independent

Mt. Washington and Pairpoint Glass
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Mt. Washington and its successor, the Pairpoint Corporation, was one of America’s longest-running luxury glass companies (1837-1957), one that rivaled its better known contemporaries, Tiffany and Steuben. It constantly reinvented and re-invigorated its business through creativity in texture,

Contemporary Czech Sculpture
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Contemporary Czech glass has had a remarkable influence on the development of studio art glass worldwide, especially in the use of cast glass for small- and large-%%scale%% sculpture. From the 1970s to the present, Czechoslovak artists have become internationally recognized for their work in glass.

Twentieth Century Czech Glass: Design in an Age of Adversity
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In  2005, the Museum presented three exhibitions of Czech and Bohemian glass. The exhibition, Design in an Age of Adversity, showcased a wide array of rare, colorful, and provocatively original vessels and sculptures—blown, hot-worked, engraved, etched, carved, and enameled. The pieces brought to

Reflecting Antiquity: Modern Glass Inspired by Ancient Rome
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A groundbreaking exhibition produced by the J. Paul Getty Museum and The Corning Museum of Glass, Reflecting Antiquity: Modern Glass Inspired by Ancient Rome opened on October 18, 2007 at the Getty Villa in Los Angeles, and ran through January 14, 2008. Then it traveled to The Corning Museum of

Joel Philip Myers and Steven I. Weinberg
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In 2007, The Corning Museum of Glass launched an exhibition series called Masters of %%Studio Glass%% with an exhibition of work by Joel Philip Myers and Steven I. Weinberg, two highly regarded studio glass innovators. Myers: Colorful Blown Work Joel Philip Myers’ work explores vibrant color, as

20th-Century Bohemian & Czech Glass Timeline
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The history of glass in the Czech Republic dates from the 13th century, but it didn't became internationally known until the early 18th century when the Bohemians established a trade network, with merchants distributing the glassware throughout Europe, as well as to Jesuit missions in South

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