Glass and Art

Glass and Art
Glass is an indispensable component of art. Used in architecture, as an art form, or protecting great works in museums, I will discuss its significance.

Some of us may have a framed poster in our home, using regular glass which reflects its surroundings. This is quite different from museum quality glass, although more expensive, but significantly filters the effect of light on a painting. However, the downside is, glass or plexiglass may interfere with photography.

You will usually find artwork dating prior to the 19th century covered by glass because they were framed. Today, not so much.

It is advisable that only watercolors, ink, pastels, or charcoals be covered by glass (UV glass preferably).

Glass placed over an oil or acrylic painting can cause damage due to chipping or sticking. A glass display case used to protect valuable works can hamper viewing the objects.

Glass art and glass blowing began in the first century BCE, introduced by the Phoenicians, and spread the art form through the early Roman Empire.

Glass has the amazing ability to absorb, transmit, and reflect light. Thus, the popularity of glass art – a profession using precision and accuracy. Dale Chihuly being the most famous glass blower.

Glass sculptures are cast in molds for art or architecture. David Ruth is a California based glass sculptor.

Stained glass is remarkable in its translucency, yet it reflects light so beautifully!

Most of us in the modern world have glass windows, through which we see the world.

Architects love working with glass, so why not design glass houses?

The largest glass house was Crystal Palace, occupying twenty acres of land in London's Hyde Park. It was built to house the Great Exhibition in 1851.

The idea was conceived by Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, with the intention of exhibiting railway locomotives to the world's largest diamond.
They received six (6) million visitors from May – October.

It was assembled in seventeen (17) weeks, subsequently dismantled, and transported elsewhere.

Some interesting facts:

The world's beloved Eiffel Tower (built 1887-1889) has a glass pavilion on the first floor.

The first glass skyscraper on Park Avenue, NYC was the Seagram's Building, built in 1958 and lauded as the most expensive. Thus no surprise there was a skyscraper boom during American Modernism in the 1960s.

American architect Pierre Koenig designed Stahl House in 1959 in Los Angeles, CA, consisting of a minimal glass and steel construction. Built in an L shape, it has only one solid external wall.

Despite its high cost and complex design, it is a luxurious house with uninterrupted views of the landscape.

Dubai holds the title of building the world's tallest glass structure, Burj Khalifa in 2009. [For the moment]

It has been reported that record numbers of Americans are flocking to Europe for vacation. Especially popular is the palace at Versailles, France, where everyone loves taking a selfie in the Hall of Mirrors!

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This content was written by Camille Gizzarelli. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Camille Gizzarelli for details.