The historical Murano Glass Museum has recently reopened: it has been renovated and extended in compliance with the new concept of museum architecture (interaction, accessibility, extensive use of technology, videos, information points, Museum gift shop etc.).
However, we, from Inside Venice would like to shift your attention to what makes this museum unique in the world: almost everything that is exhibited in here (except for the archaic and medieval artefacts) is still being produced on the island. It is the productive context made using artisanal techniques and skills, which despite all difficulties has been keeping the fire of the tradition lit since 1921, the year when the production had to be moved out of Venice for safety reasons.
In the furnaces on Murano island the glassblowing masters gather around the ovens, which were once powered by wood or coal but are now fuelled by gas, keep modelling such fragile, yet durable material. They keep blowing in the pear tree moulds to produce very fragile blown glass, modelling with pincers elaborate objects of coloured glass or lattimo (imitation of porcelain), producing murine (a sort of glass mosaic) and giving shape to projects of contemporary artists.
Now that we are aware of the fact that nothing has been lost or cancelled from history, we can see the museum in a different light.
We can start our visit from the ground floor following a sort of timeline made of 50 objects that mark the main points of the history and evolution of the Glass Art from the Roman era to the twentieth century. The timeline will lead us to the entrance of “Spazio conterie” where in the nineteenth century the artisans called “paternosteri” used to cut minutely the perforated canes of glass to create beads (conterie) that were made into necklaces by women’s hands. The room of “Contemporary Glass” on the ground floor shows and reaffirms the uninterrupted link that keeps historical glass and today’s glass art together. Here we can see the most recent glass creations, which are often the result of collaborations with Italian and foreign artists and designers.
On the upper floor (that is finally reachable thanks to two new lifts) the exhibition, which takes place in eight rooms follows a chronological order and shows Murano production starting from the Middle Ages to the 1970s. Chemistry, artistic flair and technical skill: the history of Murano Glass comes from these three elements, a history which, fortunately, has still a long way to go.
Murano Glass Museum is now available also on Google Art project, a “democratic” art programme, which intends to put online high-resolution photos of artworks of famous collections of the world major museums to make them accessible to everybody.
Click to check if it is true! https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/collection/museo-del-vetro?projectId=art-project
Murano Glass Museum
Fondamenta Giustinian 8, Venice
Phone 041 739586
Opening times? from 1st April to 31st October, ?10.00 – 18.00 (ticket office 10.00 – 17.00)
From 1st November to 31st March, 10.00 – 17.00 (ticket office 10.00 – 16.00)
Closed on 25 December, 1 January e 1 May