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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Gold Ruby Glass
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Gold ruby is arguably one of the most beautiful colors of glass. Beyond its aesthetic qualities, there is an alchemical connotation: Since ancient Greek times, descriptions of the sorcerers’ stone agree that it was believed to be a red substance and the key to the transmutation of metals,

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

Jaroslava Brychtová and Stanislav Libenský
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In 1950, Jaroslava Brychtová joined the design studio of the glassworks at Železný Brod, directing the architectural glass department. Working with her father, the sculptor Jaroslav Brychta, she began to experiment with casting, molding, and melting glass during the 1940s. In 1954, Stanislav

Mappae Clavicula
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The oldest of the Rakow Library’s holdings, this 12th-century Latin manuscript might best be described as a chemistry book for the medieval artist. The Mappae clavicula presents more than 200 recipes for making various substances used in art and craft. In these formulas, ingredients found in the

Coalbourne Hill Glass Works
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The third English Company that made furniture for the Indian market was located in the Stourbridge area. This factory had been built early in the 19th century, and it was purchased by Joseph Webb in 1850. He was a cousin of Thomas Webb, owner of the famous glass firm of Thomas Webb & Sons, and

Jonas Defries & Sons
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One of the largest but least-known 19th-century English glass firms is Jonas Defries & Sons, which was located in the Houndsditch section of London from 1856 until the early 20th century. The company operated under various names for at least a century (an 1880 advertisement says that it was

F.& C. Osler
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F.& C. Osler was probably the largest European company that supplied glass objects to India. Its products sold there included both table wares and lighting devices. During the last quarter of the 1800s and the early years of the following century, Osler also made glass fountains and furniture

The Eastern Connection
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In the 19th century, at the very time when glassmakers were improving their skill in fashioning and annealing the large pieces that would be needed to create furniture, the number of contacts between Europe and countries to the east was increasing, and both England and France were expanding their

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

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.

The Flood of 1972
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A sign in the Museum’s Admissions Lobby features a red line and the words “High Water Level, June 23, 1972.” This simple label fascinates visitors, but only hints at the devastating story behind it. The marker doesn’t convey that the flood caught the region largely unaware in the early hours of

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.

East Meets West: Cross-Cultural Influences in Glassmaking in the 18th and 19th Centuries
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Beginning in the 13th century, the philosophies, scientific discoveries, and artistic achievements of East Asia gradually became known in Europe. The Chinese began large-scale international trade during the Southern Song dynasty (1127–1279), exchanging goods with Western merchant travelers. 1 The

Mt. Washington and Pairpoint: Cut Rose Globe
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play pause stop mute unmute max volume repeat repeat off Cro Magnon Man--> Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Mt. Washington Glass Company United States, New Bedford, MA 1889–1900 Glass, blown, cut,

Medieval Glassmaking in the Levant
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In 1973, a sponge diver reported the discovery of an underwater shipwreck at Serçe Limani on the south coast of Turkey, opposite Rhodes. The wreck was investigated by Professor George Bass, of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, between 1977 and 1979. His investigation revealed that 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

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

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,

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

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

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

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,

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

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