Italian Cultural Heritage Showcased in Berlin
An exhibition to promote Italian Murano Glass, organized by the Italian Cultural Institute and the Bröhan Museum, has opened in BerlinJuly 13th, 2016
The exhibition ‘Colours of Murano: Modern Glass Art from Italy’ has opened in Berlin, on July 14th at the Bröhan Museum and on July 15th July at the Italian Cultural Institute. The purpose of the exhibition is to present the centuries old tradition of glass art and to celebrate the beauty of the Murano glass art of the last century.
The exhibition is a joint work of the Italian Cultural Institute in Berlin and the Bröhan Museum to popularize Italian cultural heritage of glass making on the islands of Murano. It combines the centuries old tradition of glass making with design trends of the last century. The collection itself is exhibited across two locations – in the Bröhan Museum and in the Italian Cultural Institute in Berlin, which displays “Art Glass Murano. Masterpieces from Holz's collection” with other objects from the collection.
Murano’s reputation as the center for glassmaking began in 1291, when glassmakers relocated onto the islands from Venice to protect its wooden buildings from fire. By the end of the 16th century, three thousand of the seven thousand inhabitants of Murano Island’s were involved in some way in the glassmaking industry. As a result, a unique artistic cosmos has developed across the islands.
The small group of islands have been considered for centuries to be the epitome of extraordinary glass design and glassmaking at its highest level. The exhibition displays this centuries old tradition by showcasing the wealth of Murano glass art from the 20th century and through insights into the design and production process of these objects.
The exhibition was made possible thanks to the outstanding stocks of the Berlin collector Lutz Holz. He has succeeded throughout the years to collect pieces of international importance. It includes rare archival materials, such as design drawings and historic photographs.
The exhibition presents around 220 glass objects, including early, serially manufactured pieces by Fratelli Toso, vases by Fulvio Bianconi from the 1950s and large-sized studio glass objects. The highlight of the exhibition is Powell's “Tangerine Buns Smith” vase.
Parts of the collection have already been exhibited in Venice, Dusseldorf, Zurich and Munich and now the collection is presented for the first time in its hometown, Berlin.
The exhibition comes at the time when the number of glassmakers in Murano is falling steeply. They struggle to compete with cheap imitations from abroad. Glass has been made in Murano for centuries and this collaboration is an excellent way to celebrate it and remind visitors about this beautiful tradition. The joint exhibition between the Bröhan Museum and the Italian Cultural Institute is a way to promote cultural heritage and stop the regression of this old industry. Moreover, it is a celebration of cooperation between artists and glassmakers, which could bring new life into this old art form.