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 Glass Question at our Rakow Research Library.

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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

Rummer with Raven Seal
Video

Listen as curator Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk describes this George Ravenscroft piece. In March 1674, the English glassmaker George Ravenscroft applied for a patent to make colorless lead glass. Unfortunately, this glass was prone to crizzling, a chemical instability that results in an attack by

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

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

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),

Tagliapietra Endeavor- Technique
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath, describes the techniques used to create "Endeavor" by Italian artist Lino Tagliapietra. A sense of weightlessness characterizes this installation of 18 boat-like forms. Inspired by the sight of the many gondolas that gather at the entrance to the

LaMonte Evening Dress
Video

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow, describes "Evening Dress with Shawl" by American artist Karen LaMonte. Karen LaMonte's hauntingly beautiful female figures evoke the fragmented bodies of classical antiquity and the pristine statues of 19th-century American neoclassicism. By using

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

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

Corning Cutting Shop- Family
Video

In the cutting room, a steam-powered shaft drove belts that turned the metal or stone cutting wheels. A glasscutter holds the object against the rotating wheel, which is fed with an abrasive slurry.

Fruit Basket
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes Fruit Basket produced by Boston and Sandwich Glass Company. The process of pressing glass was perfected fairly quickly. By the 1840s, it was possible to press large objects without surface defects. This fruit basket illustrates the development of the

Tazza with Medici Arms (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes the techniques used to make this glass object. 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

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

Marinot Bottle
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Bottle created by glass artist Maurice Marinot. Marinot studied painting at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and he exhibited regularly at the Salon d'Automne and the Salon des Indépendants in Paris from 1905 to 1913. Although Marinot was developing

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

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,

Ewer with Lion Mask (Technique- Museum App)
Video

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).

Gold Ruby Goblet
Video

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

Moorish Bathers
Video

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes the Moorish Bathers, George Woodall's masterpiece. It was started about 1890 and completed in 1898. George and Thomas Woodall left school at about the age of 12 and became apprentices at the firm of J. & J. Northwood. They also attended evening

Karel Black Cube
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow, describes "Black Cube" by Czech artist Marian Karel. Marian Karel uses light, glass, and geometric forms to make illusionistic sculptures that challenge the viewer's perceptions of space. Black Cube is so dark and reflective that it is almost invisible

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

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 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

Hilton Innerland (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist Eric Hilton describes the techniques used to create Innerland. This piece is a multi-part sculpture that expresses Hilton's concept of the unity of life and of the "inner being, or inner land, which is shared by all people everywhere." The complex design and

Desk Set
Video

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

Blaschka Case (Technique- Museum App)
Video

Listen as glass artist William Gudenrath describes flameworking (or lampworking), the technique used by the Blaschkas to create the objects in this case at the Museum. The display tells the story of two remarkable lampworkers, Leopold Blaschka and his son Rudolf, who created in glass thousands of

Gallé Dragonfly Coupe
Video

Listen as curator Tina Oldknow describes Dragonfly Coupe, created by French glass artist Emile Gallé. The love of nature, characteristic of the art nouveau style, is reflected in this remarkable coupe. A poet, designer, and a businessman, Gallé was well-versed in art, literature, botany, and

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

The Morgan Vase
Video

Listen as curator Jane Shadel Spillman describes the Morgan Vase. The Victorian sense of "good taste" emphasized ornate works. Some glassmakers met this demand by creating dramatic color effects. Several American factories produced Peachblow glass, which had a surface that shaded from

Uncut Crown of Glass (Museum App)
Video

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

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