Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on August 29, 2019


The excesses of Victorian glass – epitomized by the exhibition pieces smothered in gilding and color and cut with thousands of shimmering facets – were already being condemned by contemporary critics.  Out of this antipathy toward the mechanical production of the Industrial Revolution grew a desire to return to more natural sources.  The revolutionary effect on design following the opening up of Japan to the West and the publication of pattern-books illustrating ornament from around the world, aided by theorists such as William Morris advocating the role of the craftsman, led to the revolution of a completely new style, Art Nouveau.

The artists of Art Nouveau drew inspiration from organic and geometric forms to create elegant, modern designs.  Art Nouveau was an artistic movement which peaked in popularity between 1890 and 1905 which was practiced in the fields of art, architecture and applied art. … Its short success was a reaction against the late 19th century academic art and was replaced by the development of 20th century modernist styles.

The Arts and Crafts movement was an international trend in the decorative and fine arts that began in Britain and flourished in Europe and North America between about 1880 and 1920, emerging in Japan in the 1920s as the Mingei movement. The founders of the Arts & Crafts Movement were some of the first major critics of the Industrial Revolution. Disenchanted with the impersonal, mechanized direction of society in the 19th century, they sought to return to a simpler, more fulfilling way of living. The movement is admired for its use of high-quality materials and for its emphasis on utility in design. The Arts & Crafts emerged in the United Kingdom around 1860, at roughly the same time as the closely related Aesthetic Movement, but the spread of the Arts & Crafts across the Atlantic to the United States in the 1890s, enabled it to last longer – at least into the 1920s. Although the movement did not adopt its common name until 1887, in these two countries the Arts & Crafts existed in many variations, and inspired similar contemporaneous groups of artists and reformers in Europe and North America, including Art Nouveau, the Wiener Werkstatte, the Prairie School, and many others. The faith in the ability of art to reshape society exerted a powerful influence on its many successor movements in all branches of the arts.

The glass objects made by both movements had their roots based in nature.  Colors of these glass object where more muted and internal surfaces had a misty softness, quite unlike the brilliant finish so important thirty years earlier. Part of the above description is from the book Sothebys-Sothebys Concise Encycolopedia of Glass, Editors, David Battie, Simon Cottle, London 1991

To see Corning Museum of Glass Arts & Crafts collection click on this link: ARTS AND CRAFTS GLASS AT THE CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS

A group of Clutha glass vessels of the Arts & Crafts period in England 1900s

One Response

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  1. wynkin said, on August 29, 2019 at 8:32 am

    An amazing era and such an overlap of styles, both utilitarian, back to nature and art for arts sake.

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