Venice and American Studio Glass

International conference

The Glass Study Centre is organising an International Conference on Monday 11 January at 6 pm (CET), live on YouTube, on the background to the American Studio Glass movement, founded in the United States in the 1960s



The international conference Venice and American Studio Glass, promoted by the Glass Study Centre, is scheduled for Monday 11 January 2021 at 6 pm (CET) live on the Fondazione Giorgio Cini YouTube channel. The conference will explore the background to the Studio Glass movement which saw glass progressively become a revitalised medium and means of expression for the creativity of American artists.

In fact, in the mid-20th century, the laboratories of the Toledo Museum of Art developed a growing interest in glass blowing techniques. A key factor in this new development was the powerful influence that traditional Venetian techniques, and therefore Murano aesthetics, exercised on the study and unexpected evolution of glass in contemporary art. The great impact of Venetian glassmaking was due to its use by illustrious masters, such as Dale Chihuly, Benjamin Moore, Dante Marioni, William Morris and Lino Tagliapietra, who steered experimental developments towards non-tradition- al paths, radically influencing artists and designers of the new generation.

Thanks to the presence of internationally renowned artists and experts – such as Tina Oldknow, William Warmus, Kim Harty, Lino Tagliapietra, Katya Heller, Norwood Viviano, Deborah Czeresko, Preston Singletary, Raven Skyriver, Flora Mace, Joey Kirkpatrick, Tina Aufiero and Kait Rhoads – the conference will examine the diverse dynamics and variants that this singular “love relationship” with Venetian glass set in motion through its growing diffusion in the United States and rest of the world.


Download the programme

  • Venice and American Studio Glass, installation view, ph. Enrico Fiorese
  • Venice and American Studio Glass, installation view, ph. Enrico Fiorese
  • Venice and American Studio Glass, installation view, ph. Enrico Fiorese

International Conference “Original or Copy”: Call for Papers

Deadline: 15 January 2021

The Istituto di Storia dell’Arte of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, the Vitrocentre and the Vitromusée Romont have signed a long-term collaboration to promote an exhibition program and a cycle of conferences starting from the archival collections of the Glass Study Center.

The first international conference, entitled “Original or Copy: Virtual Reproductions and the Question of Authenticity”, is scheduled for August 28, 2021.

It is possible to participate in the selection of speakers for the conference by sending a paper, max 300 words, and a short CV no later than January 15, 2021.

Download the CALL FOR PAPERS for more details.

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

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 Emmanuel 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.


Watch the video of the Glass Study Centre

  • 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