Featured Objects from Curiosities of Glassmaking

Featured exhibition objects from Curiosities of Glassmaking

  • Artwork
    No one knows what purpose the blue bulb in this glass may have served. It has been suggested that bowls with similar blue knops may have been filled with water and small fish and then hung above sickbeds to entertain patients.
  • Artwork
    This glass slipper was designed for a movie production of Cinderella, but the film was never completed.
  • Artwork
    Colored lenses and reducing glasses were popular for viewing nature from the mid-18th to late 19th centuries. They were called "Claude Lorrain" glasses, after the 17th-century French landscape painter’s atmospheric and complex multi-hued images. Period advertisements describe the landscape glass as "pleasing and useful for viewing clouds, eclipses, and landscapes."
  • Artwork
    In her art work, Kiki Smith explores the human body—its skeletal structure and especially its organs and fluids—with the detached eye of the scientist and the poetic mind of the artist. This is a depiction of that strange and fascinating anatomical part which is the human tailbone.
  • Artwork
    These bullets were made during World War II to address metal shortages.
  • Artwork
    This object was made as a functional drinking vessel that was later reused as a reliquary. Drinking vessels, including goblets, have been found buried in the walls of churches, with their sacred contents—often physical remains—sealed inside. We do not know exactly what is inside this reliquary and we do not plan to open it.
  • Artwork
    These keepsake jars were made by Adams and her granddaughter. Reliquary glasses can preserve human remains or other sacred contents, or they can hold cherished memories.
  • Artwork
    This bottle is based on Florentine liquid-in-glass thermometers, which make use of a physical principle first observed by Galileo. As the temperature of the water changes, its density also changes, forcing the glass floaters to descend or ascend. All of the lampworked figurines are associated with the symbolism of the Passion of Christ.
  • Artwork
    The Silver Streak Pyrex iron was designed during World War II as a way to conserve metal. By the time these irons were put into production, however, the war had ended and they were no longer necessary. They were produced for only one year.
  • Artwork
    In addition to beads with the symbol of the eye, any brilliant blue bead is effective in dispelling the evil eye.