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.
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes an uncut crown of glass. Window glass was one of the most needed products in the new United States, but it was expensive to import. Some window glass factories were started in New Jersey, New York, and New England in the early 19th century. There
Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath, describes the techniques used to create "Untitled (White)" by artist Josiah McElhany. Josiah McElheny is an accomplished glassblower who creates installations inspired by art or glass history, often using a specific historical or literary anecdote
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Cut and Gilded Vase produced by William Leighton. This cut and gilded vase, blown from four layers of glass (colorless, red, green, and opaque white), is very Bohemian in appearance. However, it was made at the New England Glass Company. William
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Landscape Window designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. This window was commissioned for Rochroane, a Gothic Revival mansion in Irvington, New York, owned by Melchior S. Beltzhoover. It depicts the Hudson River landscape as seen from Rochroane's hilltop
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Glass Window Blinds designed by Elias Hungerford. Hungerford received a patent for these glass window blinds in 1866. They were designed, he said, "to give light which enters the room any desired tint to correspond with the color of wall paper
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Table Set created by glass artist Josef Hoffmann. Hoffmann studied architecture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna with Otto Wagner, whose theories of functional, modern buildings greatly influenced his work. He established his architectural practice in
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Anthem of Joy in Glass by glass artist Věra Lišková. Lišková was a talented designer who pioneered the use of borosilicate glass for sculpture. Traditionally, borosilicate glass is used for making laboratory wares for scientists, such as beakers and test
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes "Red Pyramid" by Czech artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová. Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová pioneered, explored, developed, and defined glass as a medium for sculpture. Their art explores ideas about light, space,
Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes "Shirts, Cherries, and Snowflakes, of Course" by American artist, Ginny Ruffner.
Learn more about "California Loop Series" by artist Marvin Lipofsky.
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes this desk set produced by Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. The problems involved in pressing glass were summarized by a glassmaker in 1849: "If an overplus of metal [glass] be gathered, it thickens the article throughout; but if too little, it
Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques used by Věra Lišková to create Anthem of Joy in Glass. Lišková was a talented designer who pioneered the use of borosilicate glass for sculpture. Traditionally, borosilicate glass is used for making laboratory wares for scientists,
Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes "Marquiscarpa" by American artist Richard Marquis. Unsatisfied with the limited techniques practiced and taught in American studio glass in the 1960s, studio glass pioneer Richard Marquis went to the Venini glassworks on Murano in 1969. There, he
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes "Cargo Seed" by Swedish artist Bertil Vallien. Cargo Seed reflects Bertil Vallien's interest in Sweden's Viking heritage. He uses boats as a metaphor for the journey (both physical and psychological), time, exploration, and self
Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes glass of HW Stiegel, produced by the American Flint Glass Manufactory of Henry William Stiegel. Stiegel opened a glasshouse in Manheim, PA, in 1764. He was originally a manufacturer of window and bottle glass, but his main interest was fine lead
Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Chess Set, created by Italian glass artist Gianni Toso. In this whimsical, yet functional, chess set, a Jewish rabbi and a Roman Catholic bishop (the two kings) join a group of holy men and women holding Judeo-Christian symbols of faith, including crosses,
Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this tazza with Medici Arms. This tazza is enameled with the coat of arms of the Medici family combined with crossed keys and a papal tiara, suggesting that they were made for a member of the church, most probably either Pope Leo X or Pope
Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this glass goblet. Venetian glassmakers were hired in England during the 16th century. One of them was Giacomo Verzelini. In 1571, he was brought to London by Jean Carré, a French native and owner of the Crutched Friars Glasshouse. Carré
Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make the Morgan cup. The rarest and most elaborate luxury vessels of the early Roman Empire are cameo glasses. These objects were inspired by relief-cut gems of banded semiprecious stones, such as onyx. Glassmakers cased
Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the technique used to make this ewer known as cane work or filigrana. This Venetian ewer is made with milk glass canes and decorated with applied lion-mask prunts (small ornaments that are like medallions stuck to the outside of a vessel).
Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes this micromosaic panel in a carved gilt wood frame. The panel shows a view of St. Peter's Square in Rome at the time of a Sunday benediction by Pope Leo XIII. The Pope can be seen in the background standing on the balcony blessing a large gathering
Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes these glass eyeballs made by the Blaschkas. When the curators of natural history museums displayed the mounted skins of elephants, lions, tigers and gorillas, they substituted the animals' real eyes with glass eyes made by Leopold and Rudolf
Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this cut glass table. Glass furniture was popular during the last half of the 18th century. In the 19th century, some furniture was made almost entirely of large pieces of glass. The Imperial Glassworks in St. Petersburg, Russia, created
Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes the Portrait Medallion of Louis XIV, which is made of colorless glass that was cast and later cold-painted and mirrored. It is symbolic of the presentation and gift giving of the Sun King, and together with tapestries, silver and furniture,
Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes the glass table and boat by the Cristalleries de Baccarat. At the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, the Parisian department store Le Grand Dépôt displayed a sculpture in the form of a boat. It was designed by Charles Vital Cornu (1851--1927),
Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes this display, telling the story of two remarkable lampworkers, Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf, who created in glass thousands of models of invertebrates, animals without backbones, as well as flowers and plants. The father began the business of
Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes this object, a typical example of a puzzling group of glasses known as Hedwig beakers. They are unlike any other medieval objects of glass or rock crystal from the Islamic world, Byzantium, or western Christendom. These colorless or nearly colorless
Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this mechanical glass theater, which depicts the Wedding at Cana. Figurines in Venetian and Turkish costumes are seated in the loggia of a Rococo palace. The heads and limbs of each figure are lampworked in glass, and they can be moved by
Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this goblet made of gold ruby glass. Gold ruby glass is one of the most difficult colors to achieve in glass because it consists of gold that has been added to the solution of the glass, where it dissolves into small particles, so-called
The Museum's displays of European glass tell the story of glass from the Renaissance in the 15th century to 1900. The Venetians were the master glassworkers of the Renaissance. Later, different parts of Europe produced their own distinctive styles.