Glass Study Centre

A comprehensive Archive for Venetian Glass

The Glass Study Centre was established in 2012 within LE STANZE DEL VETRO. The Glass Study Centre aims at becoming a reference point for the international scientific community, focusing on the glass medium, as a living and topical material

As part of LE STANZE DEL VETRO, the Fondazione Cini has set up a Glass Study Centre with the support of Pentagram Stiftung, within its Institute of Art History. The centre aims at becoming a reference point for the international scientific community, for the study of the glass medium as a living and topical material. The Glass Study Centre is promoting the creation of a comprehensive Archive on Venetian Glass, in order to gradually incorporate the historical archives of the Murano-based furnaces, which include drawings, plans, letters and photos. The Archive on Venetian Glass will become available to the international scholars in order to promote the art of glassmaking. Furthermore, the Glass Study Centre aims at setting up a specialized library, at organizing seminars, conferences and workshops for scholars and artists interested in the history, technology and developments in the art of glassmaking.

In 2014, the Institute of Art History directed by Luca Massimo Barbero, focused on the consolidation and reorganization of the archives, which already include unique documentation, and on enriching the library of the Glass Study Centre. The archives of contemporary artists, who are still active in Murano, have been acquired and digitized for consultation. They include, Ginny Ruffner (52 plans), Peter Shire (38 plans), as well as 16 major projects by Emanuel Babled. Furthermore, Dino Martens’ Archive for Aureliano Toso glassworks (which includes 345 drawings for several Art Biennials, Triennials and International Exhibitions in Brussels and Cairo amongst other exhibitions), has been digitized. This archive covers a time period between 1940 and 1965.

The Glass Study Centre is committed to digitizing several historical archives, including the one by artist Vinicio Vianello. Vinicio Vianello (1923-1999) was a central figure of the “Spatialism” movement, experimenting with glass (his ‘Atomic’ vessels are well known), lighting and design. His works were exhibited several times at the Venice Biennale and at the Milan Triennale. He was awarded the Compasso d’Oro in 1957. Once the digitization process is completed, the documents will all be made available for consultation: i.e. 323 scrolls containing original drawings, transparencies and plans, 820 photos, entries and reproductions of works, 14 CDs with press releases and publications on artistic and glass activities.

Every year, the Institute of Art History publishes the conference proceedings in “Saggi e Memorie”, offering insights on the artists whose works are featured in the exhibitions organised by LE STANZE DEL VETRO, and focuses on the Venetian art of glassmaking in the 20th century. Scholars from different nations attend the Glass Study Centre, thus proving the importance and uniqueness of its resources. The Centre enjoys links and connections with several international institutions.

  • Manica Lunga - Glass Study Centre, Photo Matteo De Fina, 2015, The Giorgio Cini Foundation
  • Seguso Archive, detail 1 - Glass Study Centre, Photo Matteo De Fina, 2015, The Giorgio Cini Foundation

The 2017 scholarship awarded

for research on the Seguso Archive


Patricia Lezcano Rull from Spain (b. 1989), a graduate in industrial design from the University of Florence, has been awarded the third residential scholarship dedicated to the art of Venetian glass in the 20th century.

Promoted by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini with the contribution of Pentagram Stiftung, the 2017 scholarship will enable Patricia Lezcano Rull to spend six months in residence on the Island of San Giorgio studying the Seguso Archive held by the Glass Study Centre. The aim of her research project is to reconstruct the history of the company’s production by studying the contents of the Archive but also with the aid of unpublished material and interviews obtained through direct contact with the historic Murano company.

During the six months of research, from June to December 2017, the scholarship-holder will be a guest on the campus of the Vittore Branca Center on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, an ideal place for interdisciplinary exchanges with the scholarly community of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini.

  • Seguso Vetri d’Arte, Coppa Alfa Romeo, modello 13003, Design Flavio Poli, 1961 ca.

Ettore Sottsass: The Glass

International Conference25 May 2017

To coincide with the exhibition “Ettore Sottsass: The Glass”, the Glass Study Center is organizing on the 25th May, 2017 an important international conference about the architect’s creative methods especially as regards his glass production.

The aim of this international conference being held to accompany the exhibition Ettore Sottsass: The Glass is to present various descriptions of the architect’s creative methods especially as regards his glass production, in order to understand how this fitted in with his concept of architectural and industrial design.

The one-day conference is divided into three sessions, in which architects, museum curators and directors who worked with Sottsass will provide a historical interpretation, situating his production of glass, ceramics and jewellery in the wider international context of the period art, architecture and culture. A second session will be devoted to the more human and personal aspects of Ettore Sottsass through the voices of collectors, gallery owners, patrons and collaborators who worked with him and often became close friends. The meeting will end with an open, informal discussion in which master glassmakers – whose work was often referred to by Sottsass as a fundamental component of his art – will describe their relationships and cooperation with the great artist, thus also illustrating what working in the Murano glass furnaces meant for him.

 

Download the programme

  • Portrait of Ettore Sottsass. Ph Bruno Gecchelin © Ettore Sottsass by SIAE 2017

Vittorio Zecchin 1878-1947.
Painting and Decorative Arts in Venice

International Conference14 March 2017

The sixth international conference organized by the Glass Study Center – focussing on the designers who have collaborated with the Venini glassworks – will take place on 14 March 2017. The conference will be dedicated to the Murano artist Vittorio Zecchin (1878 – 1947).

After graduating from Venice fine art school, Zecchin soon stood out for his impatience with the late 19th-century verista culture and, on the contrary, his interest in some of the new ideas stemming from the Venice Biennale, which led him to pursue research into Symbolism and the works of the Middle-European avant-gardes. Having taken part in the intense season of exhibitions with Ca’ Pesaro as a driving force in Venice (at this time he made and showed tapestries, embroidery and enamelled glass), Zecchin came into contact and collaborated with various people active in the city, such as the painter Teodoro Wolf Ferrari and the glassmakers Artisti Barovier. In his prominent role as artistic director of Cappellin Venini (1921-1925) and then M.V.M. Cappellin & C. (from 1926), he designed glass with an innovative impact and original refinements without ever neglecting research into the stylisation of form.

The main contributions will address Zecchin’s practice and inventive skills, exploring his interests and competences, starting with his Venetian background. The conference will also focus on his personal approach to the decorative arts, on the close relationship between painting, glass and applied arts in the Italian and international scenario and on Zecchin’s participation in the major events of the time, such as the Monza Biennale exhibitions between 1923 and 1927.

 

Download the programme

Call for the third Scholarship on the art of glass-making

Deadline: 28 February 2017Period of residence: April - December 2017

Call for the third residential scholarship in 2017 for the study of 20th-century glass-making in Venice, worth € 12.500  for six month research, open to Italian and non-Italian graduates, Ph.D. students or post-doctoral fellows

Thanks to the support of Pentagram Stiftung, also in 2017 the Fondazione Cini is offering a residential scholarship for the purpose of studying the art of 20th-century Venetian glass-making.

The 6-month residential scholarship worth € 12,500 is open to Italian and non-Italian graduates, Ph.D. students or post-doctoral candidates who will propose a research topic preferably focusing on the archives and documentation preserved at the Glass Study Centre of the Institute of Art History of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini.

The winner of the competition will carry out the six-month research at the Glass Study Centre, will have access to the library and the photo library resources with the supervision of a tutor and will be invited to participate in the cultural initiatives promoted by Fondazione Cini.

Furthermore, the accommodation at the ‘Vittore Branca’ Residence campus on the Island of San Giorgio will be an opportunity of interdisciplinary exchanges with the scholars and the scientific community of the Fondazione Cini.

 

Download call for application

Vienna e il vetro Moderno: 1900-1937

International conference6 May 2016 Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice

To coincide with the exhibition The Glass of the Architects. Vienna 1900-1937, the Glass Study Center is organising an important conference dedicated to the production of artistic glass in Vienna and Venice between 1900 and 1937

The international conference “Vienna and Modern glass. 1900-1937” will take place on Friday 6th May 2016 at 9:30am at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini on the island of San Giorgio in Venice. The conference is organised by the Glass Study Center in conjunction with the exhibition “The Glass of the Architects. Vienna 1900-1937” at LE STANZE DEL VETRO (until 31st July 2016).

At the beginning of the twentieth century, a decisive impulse and inspiration was brought to architecture and applied arts to stimulate creativity, research and innovative technologies in central Europe.

The symposium aims to examine some key aspects of this period, including the Viennese Secession’s experimentation with new lines of research and styles in the arts and architecture; the birth of new decorative arts movements such as the Wiener Wekstätte; the relationship between design, craftsmanship and production; the key role of important architects such as Josef Hoffmann and Adolf Loos.

The conference will also analyse the innovative ways of conceiving glass as a modern material in Viennese architecture, the Werkbund exhibition in Cologne in 1914, and finally the use of the ‘lamp blown’ technique in Venice and Vienna.

Program

Scholarship 2016 awarded

to research on the Peter Shire archive

During the sixth month residency on the island of San Giorgio, Elena Trevisan, winner of the competition, will dedicate her research to the Peter Shire archive, kept in the Glass Study Center

The second residential scholarship dedicated to twentieth century Venetian glass art, from the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, with the contribution of Pentagram Stiftung, has been awarded to Elena Trevisan, from Bassano del Grappa (Vicenza). Doctor Trevisan attained a PhD in Architectural Composition from IUAV University, Venice, in 2015. Her research will focus on developing a critical understanding of the Peter Shire archive, conserved by the Glass Study Center. With a ‘reverse design’ approach, she will investigate the strategies which guided the American artist in the conception of his glass objects. During the six months of research – from April to December 2016 – Doctor Trevisan will stay on the “Vittore Branca” campus on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the ideal place for interdisciplinary discussion with the scientific community of the Fondazione Cini.

Paolo Venini and his furnace

International conference16th February 2016 Giorgio Cini Foundation, Venice

The event will focus on Paolo Venini, an enlightened and creative entrepreneur, between innovation, tradition and international collaborations

On Tuesday February 16th 2016 Paolo Venini, (1895-1959) in his important role of enlightened and creative entrepreneur, will be the theme of an international conference held at the Giorgio Cini Foundation and coordinated by the Glass Study Centre. A skilled director of his company, careful both to the artistic trends of his time and to the needs of the international market, especially during the Fifties, Paolo Venini also created new series of glass himself. If we follow the history of the Murano glassware, one of the fundamental insights of Paolo Venini was to modernize the catalogue of the company through new and refined lines, whilst still enhancing the traditional techniques and crafts.

The focus will be on the collaboration between Paolo Venini and new actors, including international ones, such as the Swedish ceramist Tyra Lundgren known for her fun “bestiary”. The works created after World War II, during a fruitful collaboration with the architect Gio Ponti, will also be analysed and compared; together with the series produced through close cooperation with the designer Piero Fornasetti, and the painters Riccardo Licata and Eugene Berman, in the second half of the Twentieth Century.

The great American exhibitions will also be addressed, as well as the relationship with Ken Scott and Charles Lin Tissot. A further contribution will be dedicated to the architects Massimo Vignelli and Tobia Scarpa, who were always present in Venini’s life.

Program

  • Venini, 'checkered murrine' glass vases, 1954

The Vianello Archive donated to the Glass Study Center

Drawings, designs and documents

Over 2,000 works from the renowned Venetian designer’s personal archive have been donated to the Fondazione Cini. They will be catalogued and, once digitized, will be available online for consultation.

Last Thursday 29th October, on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, the architect Toni Follina, nephew of Vinicio Vianello (1923-1999), signed a formal deed to ratify his donation of the archive of the Venetian painter and designer, who won a Gold Medal at the 9th Milan Triennial in 1951 and the Gold Compass in 1957, to the Fondazione Giorgio Cini Glass Study Center. The Vianello Archive includes a large number of important documents: over 1,300 original drawings concerning the design and production of vases, lamps, light fittings for architectural and urban plans carried out in Italy and abroad, together with approximately 550 photographs, numerous catalogues, patents, press reviews and Vianello’s own publications on the topic of glass.

  • Vinicio Vianello, Garofani Vase, "Fantasia" series, 1956

Second scholarship for the study of 20th-century glass-making in Venice

Deadline: 31 January 2016Period of residence: April – December 2016

Call for a second residential scholarship in 2016 for the study of 20th-century glass-making in Venice worth € 12,500 is offered by Fondazione Cini with the support of Pentagram Stiftung

As part of the cultural initiatives of LE STANZE DEL VETRO, the Fondazione Cini, with the support of Pentagram Stiftung, is offering a residential scholarship in 2016 for the purpose of studying the art of 20th-century Venetian glass-making.

A 6-month residential scholarship worth € 12,500 is open to Italian and non- Italian Ph.D. students or post-doctoral fellows who intend to carry out research at the Glass Study Centre in the Institute of Art History from April to December 2016. Candidates should propose a research topic, preferably focusing on the archives and documentation preserved at the Glass Study Centre.

The winner will be hosted at the ‘Vittore Branca’ Residence campus on the Island of San Giorgio, which fosters interdisciplinary exchanges with the scholars and the scientific community of the Fondazione Cini, and offers access to the library and the photo library resources with the supervision of a tutor and participation to all the cultural intiatives promoted by Fondazione Cini.

Download call for application

  • Seguso Archive, detail 2 - Glass Study Centre, Photo Matteo De Fina, 2015, The Giorgio Cini Foundation

Glass from Finland

International conference

During the exhibition “Glass from Finland in the Bischofberger Collection“, curated by Kaisa Koivisto and Pekka Korvenmaa (13 April — 2 August 2015) and organised by LE STANZE DEL VETRO on the Island of San Giorgio, the Institute of Art History’s Glass Study Centre will hold an international conference devoted to Finnish glass and its influence on the international scene.

The conference is intended to be a scholarly complement to the exhibition and will cast light on the development of Finnish design from the early 1930s to the 1970s. Major experts will contribute by exploring various aspects of the subject, including the history of Finnish design and its influence on glass worldwide. In the period in question, along with renowned designers – such as the husband and wife Aino and Alvar Aalto, other rising stars of Scandinavian design came to the fore, including Arttu Brummer, Gunnel Nyman and Göran Hongell. This was also a time when significant collaborations were established between Italian companies and Finnish artists, as in the highly successful case of the Venini Glassworks, Tapio Wirkkala and Timo Sarpaneva.

  • Oiva Toikka. Kastehelmi (Dewdrop). Plate, c. 1964. Nuutajärvi. Bischofberger Collection, Switzerland. Photo: Rauno Träskelin

Fulvio Bianconi

Artist and glass designer

On the occasion of the exhibition “Fulvio Bianconi at Venini”, the Glass Study Centre at the Institute of Art History held an international conference to explore the work of this multifaceted artist. The aim was to provide the public with a portrait of an outstanding personality in terms of his highly varied interests and skills.

On Wednesday February 4th 2015, the Glass Study Centre at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini organised a conference on Fulvio Bianconi (1915-1996): artist, graphic designer, illustrator and one of the most influential designers of Murano glass in the 20th century. Bianconi was an untiring experimenter; he constantly explored new and ancient glass-making techniques in his research and eclectic production. The Glass Study Centre is a permanent centre for glass research, established in 2012 within the Institute of Art History, with the support of Pentagram Stiftung.

The conference, with contributions from scholars and experts, was organised in order to offer a scientific overview of the forthcoming exhibition “Fulvio Bianconi at Venini” curated by Marino Barovier, which will open at LE STANZE DEL VETRO in autumn (13th September 2015 – 10th January 2016).

Following the welcome speech by Luca Massimo Barbero, director of the Institute of History at the Giorgio Cini Foundation, and a few words from Marino Barovier, curator of the exhibition “Fulvio Bianconi at Venini”, the morning session featured the following speeches: Italo Moscati’s contribution on the 12 figures of the “Commedia dell&Arte” – the result of a fruitful collaboration between Bianconi and Paolo Venini, which was exhibited at the 24th Venice Biennale in 1948; C. Beltrami investigated Fulvio Bianconi’s work as a graphic designer and illustrator. Paolo Bolpagni investigated Bianconi’s traits in the artistic context of the 1950s, in particular the relationship between art and design.

In the afternoon session, Rosa Barovier Mentasti gave a speech entitled “The other Bianconi in Murano”; Andrea Tosi Fulvio gave a presentation on Bianconi’s activities in the furnaces of Murano and the result of the marriage of art and design with the technical and manual skills of the glass masters. In the closing session, Fiorella Bulegato offered an insight into Fulvio Bianconi and Bruno Munari and the Milanese design in the 1930s.

Scholarship for the study of 20th-century glass-making in Venice

Call for 1 residential scholarship worth 12,500 euros for Ph.D. students or post-doctoral fellows, for the purpose of studying the art of 20th-century Venetian glass-making.

A 6-month residential scholarship worth 12,500 euros for Italian and non- Italian Ph.D. students or post-doctoral fellows, with the purpose of studying the art of 20th-century Venetian glass-making is being offered as part of the LE STANZE DEL VETRO cultural initiatives. The winner of the scholarship will be offered the opportunity to carry out research at the Glass Study Centre in the Institute of Art History from April to December 2015. Candidates should propose a research topic, preferably focusing on the archives and documentation preserved at the Glass Study Centre.

Two open days have been planned so that candidates can visit the resources at the Glass Study Centre.

In order to participate please e-mail: centrostudivetro@cini.it.

Call for applications (pdf)

The Seguso Archive

This is the first historical archive, with more than twenty thousand drawings, plans, and sixty thousand photographic reproductions, telling the history of this famous furnace from its beginning in 1932 until the most recent decades of the last century.

The extraordinary Archive of the “Seguso Vetri d’Arte” was acquired by the Glass Study Centre in 2012, thanks to the contribution of Pentagram Stiftung. This archive, with its more than twenty thousand drawings, plans, and sixty thousand photographic reproductions, tells the history of this famous furnace from its beginning in 1932 until the most recent decades of the last century. Amongst the most significant drawings are the water colours and plans by the Art Directors who worked for the Seguso glassworks i.e., distinguished designers such as Flavio Poli (Art Director between 1937 and 1963), who won the Compasso d’Oro award with his large blue-ruby Vase in 1954, Mario Pinzoni who succeeded Poli in 1963, and finally, Vittorio Rigattieri (1968 – 1973).

The archived documents show how artists and refined designers worked together over time alongside Seguso’s most expert craftsmen. Together they contributed to making the glassworks company famous, and offered a significant contribution to the recent history of Venetian glass. The photographs also provide a precise idea of the single items produced by the furnace and offer valuable evidence of the little-known aspects of the Seguso activities, such as participation in international exhibitions, valuable contracts (such as the lighting plan for the Bauer Hotel in Venice) and some photographs taken inside the factory.

Among the documents one can also find evidence of the furnace’s clients between the 40s and 60s, including leading figures of the aristocracy, politicians and international stars, such as the Duke of Spoleto and Irene of Greece, President Luigi Einaudi, the director of 20th Century Fox Frank Ross, King Olav V of Norway, the President of Burkina Faso Yameogo, and Ambassador of Iran Mohamed El Tabei.

The Archives and Library of the Glass Study Centre are open for consultation, by appointment, Monday to Friday: 9.30 am – 1 pm; 2pm – 5 pm.

Tomaso Buzzi, a protagonist
of the Italian modern taste

The first event organised by the Institute of Art History in 2014 – the 60th anniversary year of its foundation – is an international conference to commemorate the great 20th-century architect and designer Tomaso Buzzi.

The Glass Study Centre at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini is a permanent centre for research on glass, established in 2012 within the Institute of Art History (which in 2014 celebrated its 60th anniversary) with the support of Pentagram Stiftung. On the 21st February 2014 the Glass Study Centre organised a symposium on the distinguished architect and designer Tomaso Buzzi (1900-1981). This conference prepared the academic and research ground for the autumn exhibition entitled “Tomaso Buzzi at Venini” (13th September 2014 – 11th January 2015), curated by Marino Barovier which focused on Buzzi’s works in the years when he collaborated with the Murano glassworks (1932-1933).

A friend and collaborator of Gio Ponti, Buzzi became one of the most important creators of the Italian taste in the 1930s and ’40s, and set the benchmark for many artists in the following years. He was not only an architect and industrial and interior designer; he also collaborated with the magazine Domus, and worked for some prominent members of the Italian aristocracy: Volpi, Cini and Visconti, to mention but a few. Buzzi was involved in projects for important buildings such as the Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan, recently restored by the FAI, and Palladio’s Villa Maser at Treviso. In Venice, he worked on renovations for Palazzo Papadopoli, Palazzo Labia and Palazzo Cini at San Vio, where he made two small but significant contributions between 1956 and 1958: the creation of the charming Rococo-style oval room and the addition of a spiral staircase.

Chaired by Valerio Terraroli (University of Verona), the morning session started with Marco Solari, the artist’s nephew, who presented Buzzi’s phantasmagorical experience; blending music and colours, which in 1956 led him to acquire La Scarzuola, a 13th-century monastery with annexed church at Montegabbione (Terni). Buzzi’s intention was to redesign it as a kind of “ideal city”. Lucia Borromeo (FAI – Fondo Ambiente Italiano) described Buzzi’s work for the Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan in 1938, three years after it had been designed by Piero Portaluppi; Roberto Dulio and Cecilia Rostagni (Politecnico di Milano) illustrated Buzzi and Ponti’s taste in the famous magazine Domus. Elena Pontiggia (Accademia di Brera, Milan) investigated Milanese culture during the major exhibitions of the 1930s, which featured Buzzi’s work; Alberto Anselmi (IUAV, Venice) focused on Buzzi’s activities in Rome; while Elena Portinari (Ca’ Foscari, Venice) closed the morning session with a talk on Buzzi and Venice.

The afternoon session, chaired by Lucia Borromeo, opened with a talk by Irene de Guttry and Maria Paola Maino (Archivi Arte Applicate, Rome) which illustrated Tomaso Buzzi’s activities as an interior designer and his involvement in the world of ceramics. Silvia Chiesa (lecturer in art history) presented new elements that have emerged from the architect’s invaluable archives, while Giovanna D’Amia (Politecnico di Milano) explored Buzzi’s relationship with the Valtellina area (he was born in Sondrio on the 30th September 1900). Paola Tognon (IULM, Milano) investigated Buzzi’s Ideario, with all its antique and modern glass, stone, ceramics and wood; Alberto Giorgio Cassani (Accademia di Belle Arti, Venice), author of a successful monograph on Buzzi, investigated his theatrical interests. Valerio Terraroli closed the afternoon session with a lecture on the complex relationship between Buzzi and Ponti, which was initially friendly and prolific but ended in an irreparable rift.

  • T.Buzzi, drawing for Zoomorphic vase in the shape of a cow’s head, 1932, Buzzi Archive, La Scarzuola
  • T.Buzzi, drawing for Vase with sea-horses (o unicorni), 1932-33, Buzzi Archive, La Scarzuola
  • T.Buzzi, sketches of glass bowls of different coloured layers, 1932-1933, Buzzi Archive, La Scarzuola
  • T.Buzzi, drawing of Double mouth vase , Buzzi Archive, La Scarzuola
  • T.Buzzi, sketches of Coppa delle Mani, 1932-1933, Buzzi Archive, La Scarzuola

Napoleone Martinuzzi:
from sculpture to glass

This is an international conference which includes many international speakers, dedicated to the Murano born sculptor and glass designer Napoleone Martinuzzi, ahead of the exhibition “Napoleone Martinuzzi. Venini 1925 – 1931” curated by Marino Barovier.

On Wednesday June 5th 2013, the Glass Study Centre at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini organised a symposium on Napoleone Martinuzzi: sculptor, glass designer, friend of Gabriele d’Annunzio and Art Director of the Venini Glassware Company from 1925 to 1931.

The Glass Study Centre is a permanent centre for research on glass, established in 2012 within the Institute of Art History with the support of Pentagram Stiftung. The symposium, which involved the participation of 13 distinguished guest speakers, was organised as part of the activities of LE STANZE DEL VETRO, a joint cultural venture of Fondazione Giorgio Cini and Pentagram Stiftung. The symposium was organised ahead of the exhibition curated by Marino Barovier: “Napoleone Martinuzzi. Venini 1925 – 1931” at LE STANZE DEL VETRO on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore (7th September 2013 – 6th December 2014). Napoleone Martinuzzi was a protagonist of his time in many ways. He was first of all a sculptor, trained in Venice and Rome; he collaborated with architect Angiolo Mazzoni on his most important commissions (from Palermo to Gorizia) and he was featured at the Venice Bienniales in the 1920s and ‘30s. He was a friend of Gabriele d&Annunzio, who commissioned him to make not only sculptures but specialty works of glass for “Vittoriale degli Italiani”. He was also the director of the Glass Museum in Murano from 1922 to 1931. In 1932, together with Francesco Zecchin he founded “Zecchin Martinuzzi Artistic Glass and Mosaics” and, in addition, he completed several monumental sculptures.

Aspects surrounding the professional life of Martinuzzi, some of which remain elusive to this day, have been researched by scholars; i.e., Véronique Ayroles (Paris, Musée des Arts Décoratifs) and highlight a French contribution in the development of Martinuzzi’s glass production for Venini; Maria Sole Cardulli (Rome, National Gallery of Modern Art) investigated Martinuzzi’s sculpural activity in Rome, while Massimo De Sabbata (Udine, Musei Civici) offered an insight into Martinuzzi’s participation in the Biennales of the time. Silvia Silvestri (University of Turin) investigated Martinuzzi’s appearance in art magazines in the period between the two world wars and Milva Giacomelli (University of Florence) researched the prolific relationship between Martinuzzi and Mazzoni. In the closing morning session, Massimo De Grassi (University of Trieste) focussed on Martinuzzi’s visual sources for his sculptural production.

In the afternoon session, chaired by Nico String (Ca &Foscari University of Venice), the speeches focussed on Martinuzzi and his glass production: Rosa Barovier Mentasti examined the visual sources in his glass production, Valerio Terraroli (University of Verona) illustrated the very important bond between d&Annunzio and Martinuzzi, while Chiara Squarcina (Murano Glass Museum) gave an insight on the period during which Martinuzzi was the director of the Glass Museum in Murano. Matteo Gardonio (Glass Study Centre) introduced Martinuzzi’s glass works for the Berlendis Palace where Martinuzzi lived. Alessandra Tiddia (Rovereto, MART) illustrated Martinuzzi’s glass works made in Bolzano and Miramare; Lucia Mannini (University of Florence) presented Martinuzzi’s glass succulent plants, a particularly peculiar and intriguing glass production.

  • Glass elements for wall decorations in bubble glass and in mixed zaffiro glass, Napoleone Martinuzzi for V.S.M.Venini & C., around 1930.
  • Napoleone Martinuzzi, Pulegosi, installation view. Photo: Ettore Bellini. Courtesy: LE STANZE DEL VETRO
  • Succulent plants in black glass and in red glass paste, Napoleone Martinuzzi for V.S.M. Venini & C., 1929-1930
  • Napoleone Martinuzzi, Succulent Plants, installation view. Photo: Ettore Bellini. Courtesy: LE STANZE DEL VETRO