Tag Archives: murano art glass

A Millennium of Glass Mastery at the Correr

“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

Murano Glass: History without the Hard Sell

Experience the fascinating story behind the art glass of Murano in a multifaceted tour for €16,50

Too, too many travelers cruise into town, having heard something about Murano Glass, perhaps reading a blurb in their guidebook, wondering whether it would merit a few precious hours of their limited time to delve further. Up to now their choices have been either a “free” taxi offered along the Riva or at their lodging (never recommended), hiring an expensive private guide, or visiting on their own and hoping for the best. If you don’t know filigrano from sommerso, Seguso from Tagliapietra, or murrine from conterie from perle…where do you start?

Never fear, you now how have a quality, reasonably-priced alternative for discovering the fascinating, multi-dimensional beauty of Murano art glass. The Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia has teamed up with the Abate Zanetti Scuola del Vetro to offer GLASS in ACTION, an in-depth, multifaceted look at the Murano glass from its origins to the present day.

This creative tour recounts the story of glass “in reverse.” You’ll begin at the Museo del Vetro, viewing glass artifacts from ancient Rome, an extensive representation of the glass making process, the finished works of Renaissance Murano, and the expanded creativity modern masters, in all of their skillful and artistic complexity. You’ll then “return” to experience glass as artistic medium, “molten mass, unformed and uncolored,” at the Scuola del Vetro, for a glass working demonstration with a master vetraio, and the viewing of a short documentary film.

The image of Murano and its glass have suffered in recent decades with scandals of non-stop corruption, imitation glass, price-gouging, and more. It’s a pleasure to see the Musei offering the traveler the possibility to learn more about an art form that is as compelling for its history as it is for the beauty and variety displayed in the artisans’ works.

Perhaps it will become as popular as the Doge’s Palace Secret Itineraries, who knows?


Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:30 (In English, check site times for Italian and other languages)

The €16.50 fee INCLUDES
. admission to the Museo del Vetro (Glass Museum)
. 40-minute museum tour with a specialized guide
. glassworking demonstration
. screening of documentary film at the Scuola del Vetro furnace “Abate Zanetti”

No need to reserve in advance, however: you must book the second half of the visit (the furnace) at the ticket office immediately on arrival for the Museum tour.

Questions and info:
. call center 84 80 82 000
. from abroad +39 041 4273 0892

images courtesy Musei Civici and the Scuola di Vetro