Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


The Met on 5th Ave New York

The Met on 5th Ave New York

A courtyard in the Met

A courtyard in the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York, NY

Size and type of the Glass Collection: approx. 11,000 pieces from 2000BC to present.  It covers Western Europe, Near East and North America. This museum has one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of glass in the United States.

The departments in the Museum with glass holdings include:

American Wing:    American glass has been newly re-installed on the balcony of the Charles Engelhard Court. Glass and other American objects are also available for study in the Henry R. Luce Center for study of American Art.

To view this collection click on this link: Glass in the American Wing(active link)

Glass of the Byzantine, Early Middle Ages, and Middle Ages

The Metropolitan Museum’s collection of medieval art, one of the richest in the world, encompasses the art of this long and complex period in all of its many phases, from its pre-Christian antecedents in Western Europe through the early Christian, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic periods.  This is the period between ancient and modern times in Western civilization, known as the Middle Ages. Extends from the fourth to the early sixteenth century, which is roughly from the Fall of Rome to the beginning of the Renaissance in Northern Europe.  The Cloisters museum and gardens, the branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art is devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe. The Cloisters itself was assembled from architectural elements that date from thetwelfth through the fifteenth century. Located in a spectacular four-acre setting overlooking the Hudson River with views of the George Washington Bridge, the building incorporates elements from five medieval cloisters. Follow the link to the page on the Cloisters museum, gardens and glass(active link).

In the Fall of 2000 new galleries for Byzantine and early European art opened at the Museum in a dramatically expanded and redesigned space that includes an intimate gallery under the Grand Staircase.  The period of time this covers is from the late 300’s to 800’s and shows the glass of the Byzantines, Franks, Langobards, Visigoths, Anglo-Saxons, and other peoples.  The examples are from these galleries. Follow the link with a click to see these pictures. Glass of Byzantines, Franks, Langobards, Visigoths and Anglo-Saxons(active link)

Ancient Near East

Egyptian: Most of the collections of Egyptian glass(active link) shown comes from archeological excavations from the ancient Egyptian/Roman city of Karanis in the Fayum region. Date: 3rd to 4th century

Greek and Roman:      The newly renovated galleries of the Greek and Roman Department(active link) have an exemplary display of glass from this period.

Follow this link  to see pictures of  the Roman glass collection.  Glass of the Romans

Islamic Art:   The grand reopening of a suite of 15 dramatic New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia(active link) took place at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on November 1st 2011. The greatly enlarged, freshly conceived, and completely renovated galleries will house the Metropolitan’s renowned collection of Islamic art—one of the finest and most comprehensive collections of this material in the world. Design features within the new space will highlight both the diversity and the interconnectedness of the numerous cultures represented here; multiple entryways will allow visitors to approach the new galleries—and the art displayed within—from different perspectives. The following link is to our Study Gallery pictures of the Islamic glass(active link) in the new Arab Lands Galleries.

The Robert Lehman Collection:      This comprehensive collection of European glass from 15th -17th C. is highlighted in the publication:  Glass in the Robert Lehman Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dwight Lanmon with David B. Whitehouse, 1993

Glass in the Lehman Collection, book cover

Medieval Art:      Displayed in this department is glass from the Frankish period, stained glass and European vessel glass dating from 500 to 1500 AD.

Spanish Glass

It is glassware made in Spain from the Roman and medieval eras, but mainly made in the 16th and 17th centuries in many glassworks throughout the country.  These were principally in Catalonia, Castile, Andalucía and the Royal Factory at La Granja De San Ildefonso.  Spanish glass shows Moorish influence and later that of Venice, and to limited extent Bohemia, but local styles were developed making it quite unique. The examples shown here are from The Metropolitan Art Museum and the Allaire Collection. In addition to the Met’s collection there is another fine collection of Spanish glass in New York City at The Hispanic Society of America.

To see pictures of this collection follow this link: Spanish Glass Collection at the Metropolitan(Active link)

The Cloisters:      This separate Museum also in New York is a branch of the Metropolitan displaying Medieval Art.  The glass includes stained glass panels and vessels.

Twentieth Century Art


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