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The allure and history of colorless glass will be explored in exhibition at the Chrysler

Post Time:Dec 26,2020Classify:Industry NewsView:1063

Those clear-as-day champagne flutes with which you’ll toast 2020 goodbye. Those transparent windows you stared out of while on lockdown. Both have a long and interesting history that will be explored in a new exhibition at the Chrysler Museum of Art.

Karen LaMonte\nDress VIII, 2002\nCast glass© Courtesy of the Chrysler Museum of Art (Custom credit)/The Virginian-Pilot/TNS Karen LaMonte\nDress VIII, 2002\nCast glassKaren LaMonte\nDress VIII, 2002\nCast glass© Courtesy of the Chrysler Museum of Art (Custom credit)/The Virginian-Pilot/TNS Karen LaMonte\nDress VIII, 2002\nCast glass

The “Clear as Crystal: Colorless Glass from the Chrysler Museum” exhibition opens Saturday and includes approximately 50 pieces from the museum’s collection to show how some of art’s most recognized glassmakers created exquisite pieces with the delicate medium. The exhibition also shows how making colorless glass was an elusive art for centuries. It was made from sand, a naturally dirty material with aluminum, iron and other substances that gave the glass a bluish-green or yellowish-green tint, said Carolyn Swan Needell, the Chrysler’s Carolyn and Richard Barry Curator of Glass.

a glass vase sitting on a table: This blown and engraved glass piece, \"Goblet,\" was created by Canada-based artist Mathieu Grodet. It will be included in the Chrysler Museum of Art's \"Clear As Crystal: Colorless Glass from the Chrysler Museum" exhibition, which is on view from Dec. 26 – July 3, 2021.© Courtesy of the Chrysler Museum of Art (Custom credit)/The Virginian-Pilot/TNS This blown and engraved glass piece, \"Goblet,\" was created by Canada-based artist Mathieu Grodet. It will be included in the Chrysler Museum of Art's \"Clear As Crystal: Colorless Glass from the Chrysler Museum" exhibition, which is on view from Dec. 26 – July 3, 2021.

“There are definitely other kinds of glass that people have loved and valued but colorless glass tended to be difficult to make, fewer people could afford it and it ended up being highly valued,” Needell said.

Artists during the years fiddled with different techniques and chemical formulas in their hunt for that look of beautiful nothingness. When they found it, they kept the formulas secret.

“The Venetians, during the Renaissance, were known for having the best colorless glass,” Needell said. “They closely guarded the recipe because they didn’t want anyone to be able to produce such a beautiful commodity.”

The Chrysler Museum is known internationally for its glass holdings, which span more than 3,000 years of history. Typically, only 1,600 of its more than 10,000 pieces are on display at any time and the show, Needell said, is allowing them to display pieces that have been in storage for decades.

a wedding cake: American glass manufacturer Gillinder & Sons produced this \"Ruth, the Gleaner\" piece in 1876 from a sculpture by Randolph Rogers. It will be included in the Chrysler Museum of Art's \"Clear As Crystal: Colorless Glass from the Chrysler Museum" exhibition, which is on view from Dec. 26 – July 3, 2021.© Courtesy of the Chrysler Museum of Art (Custom credit)/The Virginian-Pilot/TNS American glass manufacturer Gillinder & Sons produced this \"Ruth, the Gleaner\" piece in 1876 from a sculpture by Randolph Rogers. It will be included in the Chrysler Museum of Art's \"Clear As Crystal: Colorless Glass from the Chrysler Museum" exhibition, which is on view from Dec. 26 – July 3, 2021.

Admirers who know their glasswork will recognize the names of the artists and the manufacturers in the exhibition from Boston & Sandwich, Tiffany and René Lalique, to contemporary masters such as Edvard Hald, Stanislav Libensk 1/4 u00fd and Jaroslava Brychtová, and Karen LaMonte.

Early production of colorless glass goes back to ancient civilizations when Persians and Romans valued rock crystal quartz as highly as silver and gold. The quartz was hard to find and craftspeople tried to emulate the mineral’s transparent quality.

That leads to the confusion of the origin of the word and meaning of “crystal.”

The word was first applied to colorless glass by the Venetians —“cristallo” in Italian — and Europeans started using the word to refer to the finest colorless glass made anywhere, Needell said.

Adding lead, it was discovered, could produce a gorgeous, sparkly product. Europeans started referring to their colorless glass as “lead crystal.”

For the past 100 years, “crystal” ended up meaning “the most expensive colorless glass,” Needell said. “It’s really become a colloquialism instead of a true technical descriptor.”

The exhibition is also a show for people who enjoy science. It includes pieces made of rock crystal and items on loan from Hardy’s The Art of Jewelry store in Virginia Beach. These include objects in their natural crystal form, carved tableware and work from artist and gemologist Tom Munsteiner.

“You can kind of see the links between the materials,” Needell said, “that the colorlessness, the transparency, that is a beautiful, intriguing thing that people want to capture, whether it’s artificially through glass or naturally with a mineral.”

It is also a show for anyone with a good eye.

“There are layers of what you can get from the show,” Needell said. “Or, you can just come and enjoy something beautiful.”

Source: https://www.msn.com/Author: shangyi

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