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.