LE STANZE DEL VETRO

LE STANZE DEL VETRO is a long-term joint initiative between Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Pentagram Stiftung devoted to studying the art of glassmaking in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The project marks the opening of a new permanent exhibition space designed to host a series of solo and group shows featuring international artists, both contemporary and historical, who have used glass during their careers as an original means of expression and a medium for researching their own personal aesthetics. The aim is to illustrate the numerous potential uses of the medium and put glass back in the centre of attention and discussion on the international art scene.

The venue of LE STANZE DEL VETRO is the west wing of the ex-Convitto (a former boarding school) on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. With 650 square metres of exhibition space, the exhibition centre hosts not only exhibitions but also conferences, workshops and other events dedicated to glass. The restoration was carried out by architect Annabelle Selldorf in collaboration with Fabrizio Cattaruzza and Francesco Millosevich.

As part of LE STANZE DEL VETRO, Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Pentagram Stiftung have set up a special Glass Study Centre in its Institute of Art History to promote the gradual establishment of a general archive of Venetian glass; the creation of a specialised library; the organisation of seminars, conferences and workshops for scholars and artists interested in the history, technology and development of the art of glassmaking; and the institution of scholarships specifically addressed to researchers interested in the topic. Through this project, glass, which has recently reappeared in the Venice Pavilion at the Venice Biennale after a long absence dating back to 1972, acquires its own exclusive space in Venice. Thanks to LE STANZE DEL VETRO project, research on the cultural and historical role of glass is accompanied by a renewed effort to understand how production and technology have radically changed over the last century and how the artists’ work is instrumental in such experimentation.

In order to sustain the effort of reappraising the importance of glass in the history of art and Venice, each exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, edited by some of the most important scholars in the field, and published by Skira. These publications will over time become a fundamental tool in the history of glass. The activities organised within LE STANZE DEL VETRO project are coordinated by a scientific committee comprising Luca Massimo Barbero (chairman), Marino Barovier, Rosa Barovier Mentasti, Laura de Santillana, David Landau, Jean-Luc Olivié and Nico Stringa.

  • Church of San Giorgio Maggiore designed by Andrea Palladio, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Photo © Matteo De Fina
  • Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, top view. Photo © Alessandra Chemollo
  • LE STANZE DEL VETRO, entrance, lamps by Alessandro Diaz de Santillana. Photo © Fabio Zonta
  • LE STANZE DEL VETRO, exhibition space's view, designed by Selldorf Architects. Photo © Ettore Bellini