Over seven centuries, the Venetian island of Murano has built a reputation as home to some of the world's finest glassmakers. But now that many Venetian glass shops devote their shelves to kitsch trinkets and cheap pieces from the Far East, Murano's proud tradition of colorful, creative glasswork is fading.
"FareVetro," an exhibition at the Glass Museum on Murano, aims to change that. "This show is a reawakening, a sign that the artistic spirit of Murano has not been killed," says Giampaolo Seguso, one of the showcased designers. All the pieces in the exhibition which runs until Sept. 30 are made by manufacturers with deep roots on the island. Allegories of Life, a clear, curved panel etched with delicate neoclassical figures, was made for the Salir company in 1929 by engraver Franz Pelzel; from the Nason Moretti company's 1950s work comes a set of funky two-tone cups and bowl.
Glassblowers born on the island have often collaborated with artists from further afield. But "FareVetro" also celebrates those who work to their own vision. Andrea Zilio's Rainbow vase is all melting geometrics, created through the fusion of colored glass canes, while Simone Cenedese proffers an installation of Pop Art–style flowers.
Murano's future lies in nourishing such home-grown talents: in the last 40 years, the number of glassworkers on the island has declined from 5,000 to 1,400. "If this show reminds Murano's younger generation that they belong to a great tradition," says Seguso, "I will be a happy man." http://www.museiciviciveneziani.it/