“The Adventure of Glass,” a brilliant exhibition of Venetian glass and the largest of its type since 1982, is at the Museo Correr through April 25th.
Most everyone who comes to Venice knows that Murano is famous for art glass production, though not many know why, or even what distinguishes it from any other sort of glass. Too few visitors portion out their limited time to become even mildly informed of the fascinating +1000-year history of Venetian glass — short of taking a “free” taxi ride offered by every lodging and guide in the city to a single commissioning furnace. What a pity.
Fear not, curious visitor: fi you’re traveling to Venice through April 25th, you’ll want to take in “The Adventure of Glass.” It’s a captivating and inspired exhibition at the Museo Correr, a reworked continuation of the one just ended at the Castello del Buonconsiglio in Trento.
The exhibition coincides with the imminent celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Museo del Vetro on Murano (a too often overlooked introduction to Murano glass), founded in 1861 by Abbot Zanetti, whose permanent collection houses many of the works on view at the Correr.
One of the most fascinating and surprising portions of the exhibit is the ancient glass recovered from lagoon and canal beds – on display for the first time, and attesting to just how long glass has been an integral part of the Venetian identity. They comprise some of the over three hundred objects you’ll peruse that include archeological glass (Roman and early Venetian), works from the Golden Age of the 15th-16th centuries to the inventive 17th and 18th centuries applying its elaborate, imaginative ingenuity to both form and material composition. After the subsequent decline, the modern renaissance of the 19th-20th centuries demonstrate how designers and glass masters began to collaborate to combine contemporary perspectives with the art form’s rich past to not only revive, but re-invent it with ingenious new techniques.
Note too, that during Carnevale (from the first week in February), over one hundred more items from the Maschietto collection will be added: presented in Venice for the first time, and combined with a selection of 18th century drawings from the Correr collections appropriate to Carnevale.
The Adventure of Glass: A Millennium of Venetian Art
Museo Correr, Piazza San Marco
Through April 25th, 2011
10am – 6pm, last entrance pm
Tickets €8 / €5 reduced
Click the image below to view the slideshow:
Photographs © Nan McElroy