The Glass Ark. Animals in the Pierre Rosenberg Collection

Curated by Giordana Naccari and Cristina Beltrami

The exhibition “The Glass Ark. Animals in the Pierre Rosenberg Collection”, curated by Giordana Naccari and Cristina Beltrami, retraced – in an original and fascinating way – the history of 20th-century Murano glass from an unusual angle: the glass animal.

It is still possible to visit the exhibition online with the 3D virtual tour and examine in detail, room after room, the extraordinary works on display thanks to the many insights, photographic and video contributions about the production of glass animals in Venice.

The over 750 works of art – representing, among others, elephants, hippos, cats, giraffes, bears, parrots, fish, turtles, foxes and tiny, lamp-worked life-sized insects –  belong to the personal collection that Pierre Rosenberg, art historian and former Director/President of the Louvre in Paris, put together over thirty years.

Alongside the Zebrati [zebra-striped] series by Barovier & Toso, the aquariums by Alfredo Barbini and the well-known examples by Seguso Vetri d’Arte, the exhibition also featured a vast sample of animals made by lesser-known but equally interesting glassworks from the point of view of the technical and design experimentation of 20th-century Murano glass production. The exhibition also showcased works by living artists such as Cristiano Bianchin, Isabelle Poilprez, Maria Grazia Rosin and Giorgio Vigna that demonstrate the inexhaustible source of inspiration that the glass animal has to offer.

The exhibition set-up was curated by Denise Carnini and Francesca Pedrotti, two stage designers who engaged in setting up a glass zoo. The exhibition also included an animated video by Giulia Savorani, visual artist and director who, starting from drawings on glass, has created a fairytale cartoon, based on an idea by Giordana Naccari for this occasion.


View the catalogue

Installation view, ph. Enrico Fiorese

Installation view, ph. Enrico Fiorese

Installation view, ph. Enrico Fiorese