20th Century italian glass from the Olnick Spanu collection
Italian art glass of the twentieth century represents a high point in the history of the medium. In this century, such legendary Muranese factories as Venini, Seguso and Barovier & Toso, among others, joined forces with major artists, architects, designers and skilled glassworkers to renovate and expand the traditions of excellence that had been the hallmarks of Venetian glass for centuries. From experiments in new forms, colors and techniques in the first decades of the century, through the golden years of Italian preeminence in the field at mid-century, to the influx of talented artists from other countries today, Venetian glasswork of the twentieth century is a testament to creative spirit and artistic innovation. Presented at the American Craft Museum from fall 2000 through winter 2001, Venetian Glass: Twentieth Century Italian Glass from the Olnick Spanu Collection is one of the first comprehensive overviews of twentieth-century Italian glass art in the United States, and the first in this country to present a heretofore unknown private collection of Italian glass masterworks. The extraordinary design by Massimo Vignelli coupled with the stunning photographs by Luca Vignelli give life and texture to each piece. Responding to the dearth of publications about twentieth-century Italian glass art available in the US, this accompanying catalogue–featuring over 200 works–is certain to occupy a significant place in the current revival of interest in glasswork as an art form.