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The New Glass Study Centre

The most important General Archive of Venetian Glass

With its over 200.000 original documents and a specialist library, which includes 2,300 titles, the Glass Study Centre collections are now being moved to the newly restored Sala Messina of the Giorgio Cini Foundation.

Founded in 2012 within the Giorgio Cini Foundation’s Institute of Art History with the aim of studying and promoting Venetian glass art in all its modern and contemporary forms, in recent years the Glass Study Centre has developed into the General Archive of Venetian Glass. The archive’s collections are now being moved to the newly restored Sala Messina (Messina Hall).

The hall overlooks the enchanting Chiostro dei Cipressi (Cypress Cloister) and borders on the adjacent Borges labyrinth, a few steps away from LE STANZE DEL VETRO. This sets up an ideal symbolic continuity between the space for the planning of exhibitions and the Foundation’s cultural and scientific hub, which represents an essential stage for any research in the field of glass-working.

The Centre has always been engaged in organizing conferences, educational events, and exhibitions, and in awarding scholarships for researchers focusing on glass, its history, and its future developments.

With over 200,000 documents, including original drawings, sketches, and executive projects, the General Archive of Venetian Glass is unique: the graphic collections are accompanied by almost as many photographic prints, in addition to correspondence, albums, administrative archival material, and valuable production catalogues drawn entirely by hand.

The collections cover a chronological period ranging from the end of the 19th century to the present day. Among the real treasures that are being moved into the Sala Messina is the Archive of Antonio Salviati Glassworks, which exhaustively illustrates the activity of this company between 1901 and 1992. Equally rich and vast are the Pauly & C. – C.V.M and Seguso Vetri d’Arte collections: the archive of the historical Murano glassworks Seguso will soon be published as part of the Foundation’s digital catalogue.

The art-historical value of the archive is further confirmed by the drawings and projects signed by renowned designers and artists: Carlo Scarpa, Ettore Sottsass, Dino Martens, Flavio Poli, Sergio Asti, Vinicio Vianello, Fulvio Bianconi, Ginny Ruffner, Emmanuel Babled, Peter Shire, Pino Signoretto, Cristiano Bianchin, Silvano Rubino, and Giorgio Vigna, among others. As far as glassworks are concerned, names such as Barovier Seguso e Ferro, M.V.M. Cappellin & C., and Vetreria Artistica Rag. Aureliano Toso stand out.

All the collections of the Centre – including those related to books, drawings, and photographs – are accessible to the public, and some sections are already available online.

The Venice Glass Week 2023 / Massimo Pistore PIXU studio

The Venice Glass Week 2023 / Massimo Pistore PIXU studio

The Glass Study Centre is participating in The Venice Glass Week

Presentations, guided visits and an exhibition by Marcela Cernadas

The Glass Study Centre at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini will be participating in the seventh edition of The Venice Glass Week, the international festival dedicated to the art of glassmaking from 9 to 17 September, with numerous exciting activities open to the public. 

During the festival week, the Glass Study Centre will be inviting the public to access its vast archive of documents and to admire the extraordinary variety of materials held there thanks to free guided visits (Monday to Friday. 10.00am – 1.30pm and 2.30pm – 5.00pm. Visits must be booked in advance by contacting centrostudivetro@cini.it).

From 11 September to 21 December, you are invited to visit the exhibition ‘Manifesto di Sabbia’ (Sand Manifesto) by the Argentinian artist Marcela Cernadas, 2022 winner of the tenth edition of the Glass in Venice Prize. The exhibition, proposing twenty new works created for the occasion, focuses on the various meanings of the concept of sand.

Offering a further occasion to explore the resources in the archive, on Wednesday 13 September at 4.00pm, the Glass Study Centre in collaboration with LAMA (Laboratory for Analysis of Ancient Materials of the IUAV University Venice) will host the research presentation Il vetro attraverso le analisi chimiche (Glass through chemical analyses) highlighting the results of various lines of research carried out over the past two years into the coloured glass produced by Cappellin.

The various events organized by the Glass Study Centre as part of The Venice Glass Week will conclude on Friday 15 September at 12.00 noon in the Barbantini Room at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini with the presentation of the book YOICHI OHIRA. Artista dello Studio Glass Veneziano. I disegni della Vetreria Anfora. This monography is dedicated to the celebrated Japanese artist who has worked with glass for almost thirty years, mostly on Murano, producing artworks in collaboration with the Anfora glassworks in particular.

Seguso Vetri d'Arte, Archive Drawings, ph. Matteo De Fina

Centro Studi del Vetro (Glass Study Centre) of the Giorgio Cini Foundation has published online the rich collection of documents pertaining to the long-standing Murano glassworks Seguso Vetri d’Arte.

Comprising over 30,000 images, the archive is freely accessible on the website archivi.cini.it/centrostudivetro/home, along with the previously published archives devoted to artists and designers such as Emmanuel Babled, Dino Martens, Ginny Ruffner, Peter Shire and Vinicio Vianello. The hybrid archive of Seguso Vetri d’Arte consists of a vast collection of drawings, projects, photographs, and furnace catalogues, totalling 13,311 vintage photos, 22,479 drawings, and over 35,000 cataloguing sheets, divided into series – Photographs, Artistic Glass, Special Projects, Showroom Catalogues – and dating from 1933 to 1973. These have now been made more easily accessible to historians and the general pubic alike through specific queries and advanced searches.
The Centro Studi del Vetro has recently relocated to the restored Messina Hall of the Cini Foundation and can be visited by appointment. To book a visit, please write to centrostudivetro@cini.it

Showroom catalogue Seguso Vetri d'Arte, ph. Matteo De Fina