April 3rd, 2015
NEW MURANO GLASS MUSEUM: the old Palazzo Giustinian shines with new light: the ideal should be being able to see it over and over again, in order to enjoy the range of variations created by the light flooding in from the canal below interacting with the renovated artificial illumination.
Every piece in the collection can be enjoyed in all its changeable beauty and in relation with the other pieces next to it. I lost sense of time here, turning around the objects, taking pictures for hours, until closing time, but I know I need to go back again to see everything in the morning sun. And then maybe again in summer…
From Ancient Rome to our age the history of glass, that maybe started in Syria, as the legend says, or maybe in Egypt, finds in Venice one of its most persistent and creative nodes.
Since the Middle Ages, the techniques. the secrets about certain colors or effects, the skills transmitted from father to son, from master to student, have been at the core of the living experience of Murano up to our days.
Seen from this viewpoint the new Murano Glass Museum can be seen like a ‘time wave’ opened to the future.
At the ground floor the new display includes a visual ‘stream’ of 50 important objects that link symbolically the present to the past, but then the journey continues with the ‘white box’, a bright new space obtained by restructuring the old beads’ factory (or Conterie) that will be reserved to the most contemporary creations.
At the moment, until August 30th, the artist in the spotlight is Luciano Vistosi, with 30 major works of sculpture.
The ‘traditional’ part of the new Murano Glass Museum continues on the first floor (there are two elevators) with nine rooms, each endowed with an educational video-totem, where it has been possible to display a great number of items previously ‘hidden’ in the deposits.
The archaeological session makes a great effect with its new dark showcases. We find here the ancestors of all typologies and techniques that are still used today here in the Island of Glass.
The great central room, with frescoed ceiling and gigantic chandeliers, displays the ‘treasures’ of the Golden Age of Murano: the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries
The eye is caught and delighted by the grace, elegance, inventiveness of this ‘glass symphony’ . Some pieces, like the Barovier cup, are legendary.
Other items are so weird to look like contemporary creations.
Later on, in the 18th century rooms, we admire the skills of Murano masters at imitating porcelain and marbles and at creating new forms and decorations that were appreciated and exported all over Europe, such as the chandeliers and the mirrors, contributing to the Myth of Venice, and, of course to its declining economy.
An entire section is devoted to glass beads, the collections of Rosetta, Mosaic, Millefiori, and Murrina beads exhibited belong to Ercole Moretti.
The 20th century witnesses an explosion of creativity: the old techniques merge into contemporary design: painters, sculptors, architects and engineers come to Murano from all over the world to inspire and get inspired…some of the artifacts exhibited are of extraordinary quality, a joy for the sight and for the mind and spirit.
Carlo Scarpa, Tapio Wirkkala, Dale Chihuly just to mention a few. …
And in the 21st century, of course, the story still goes on.