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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Marioni Chartreuse Pair
Video

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes "Chartreuse Pair" by American artist Dante Marioni.

Zynsky Libertà (Liberty)
Video

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow describes "Libertà" by American artist Toots Zynsky. In Toots Zynsky's vessels, color reflects and defines emotion, mood, and experience. Her color choices are subjective, instinctual, and grounded in the natural world. Zynsky began to develop her

McElheny Untitled (White)
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes the object "Untitled (White)" by American 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 as a point of

Plum Woven Heaven
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes the object Woven Heaven, Tangled Earth by artist Susan Plum. For Susan Plum, glass is a metaphor for light. She works with it as a way, she says, to "concretize the invisible." Plum prefers borosilicate glass for its high silica content and its

Lily-pad Pitcher
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes the Lily-pad Pitcher, produced by Lancaster Glass Works. The glass that was used to make this pitcher was also employed in the manufacture of windows because the brilliant, deep aquamarine color would not have been noticeable in thinly blown sheets

Martens' Cheerful Bottle
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Cheerful Bottle, created by Italian glass artist Dino Martens. Trained as a painter, Dino Martens was the artistic director of the Aureliano Toso glassworks on the island of Murano for many years. There, he produced a variety of designs characterized by

Reynolds Family Matter
Video

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes the object "Family Matter" by American artist Jill Reynolds.

Hilton Innerland
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Innerland, designed by glass artist Eric Hilton and executed at Steuben Glass, Inc. This piece is a multi-part sculpture that expresses designer Eric Hilton's concept of the unity of life and of the "inner being, or inner land, which is shared by

McElheny Untitled (White)- Technique
Video

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

Cut and Gilded Vase
Video

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

Tiffany Landscape Window
Video

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

Glass Window Blinds
Video

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

Hoffmann Table Set
Video

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

Lišková Anthem of Joy in Glass
Video

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

Libenský Red Pyramid
Video

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,

Ruffner Shirts, Cherries, and Snowflakes, of Course
Video

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes "Shirts, Cherries, and Snowflakes, of Course" by American artist, Ginny Ruffner.

Lipofsky California Loop Series
Video

Learn more about "California Loop Series" by artist Marvin Lipofsky.

Marquis Marquiscarpa
Video

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

Vallien Cargo Seed
Video

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

Glass of HW Stiegel
Video

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

Toso Chess Set
Video

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,

Tazza with Medici Arms
Video

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

The Morgan Cup- Technique
Video

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

St. Peter's Square
Video

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

Blaschka Eyes
Video

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

Cut Glass Table
Video

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

Portrait Medallion of Louis XIV
Video

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,

Glass Table and Boat
Video

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),

Blaschka Case
Video

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

Hedwig Beaker
Video

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

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