François Arnal (1924 – 2012) was a multidisciplinary French artist who was primarily known as a painter and sculptor. In 1968 he set up Atelier A (Workshop A) to publicize the works of furniture designers. I recently popped into art furniture gallery Demisch Denant on West 12th Street and was thrilled to find that they had two of Arnal’s most iconic peices on display! Let’s take a closer look.
I spent an extended Pride Weekend relaxing at a friend’s vacation home in The Hamptons. Activities mostly involved us floating in the pool, eating, and then taking long walks to work off whatever we had just eaten or were about to eat. We also did some driving to nearby hamlets like East Hampton, West Hampton, and Sag Harbor, which is the location of the gift shop where I found this Pink Glass Elephant. I have no idea of the price, but I can guarantee you it was not cheap.
Richly-colored blown glass in the Bohemian taste, ornamented with cutting and engraving, attracted the American public beginning in the mid-nineteenth century. This whiskey decanter (from the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company), in a shape typical of the 1860s and 1870s, is distinguished by its brilliant faceting and detailed depiction of fruit, revealing the skill of the engraver, George Franklin Lapham . As a testament to its quality, Lapham signed and dated the work.
Photographed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
In 1970, Martin Lipofsky started a practice of traveling to glass factories around the world to learn from and collaborate with glass masters. He always sought to infuse the works he made with local culture, primarily through symbolic color.
Czech Flowers #6 (1991 – 92) is an example of this process. Lipofsky would conceive of the work, choose colors, mold-blow, and hot work the glass while abroad.
After he returned home, he would finish the piece (in this case: cut, sandblast and acid polish the glass) using various coldworking techniques. Czech Flowers #6 was created with help from Josef Rasocha.
Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design in NYC.
Symbols of speed and good fortune, Dolphins swim down the sides of this ocean-colored vase (1866–70s) from Salviati & Co. John Ruskin’s Stones of Venice created a wave of enthusiasm for the lost art of cristallo. Published from 1851 to 1853, Ruskin’s book proved a stroke of good luck for Venetians seeking to revive old glassblowing techniques.
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This striking, six-pronged Green Glass Vase (circa 1931) is part of a small group of modernist art glass by Frederick Carder for the Steuben Division of Corning Glass Works. Carder was a glass blower, born and trained in England. He preferred traditional forms and elaborate ornament, but like many of his contemporaries active in the late 1920s, he responded to the international interest in abstraction and avant-garde experimentation by incorporating sharp angles, asymmetry, and bright color combinations into some of his designs.
Photographed in the Art Institute, Chicago.
One of the enduring legacies of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel was her elevation of costume jewelry to high fashion. Maison Gripoix, a house that has serviced the couture industry since its founding in 1869, was among her earliest and most frequent collaborators. The company’s specialized pate de verre (glass paste) technique was developed by the founder, Augustine Gripoix, and passed down generationally. Instead of the kiln method employed by other manufacturers, the house pours molten glass directly into the sophisticated metal settings that frame its designs. This meticulous an costly process allows for greater freedom of coloration and form, and lends a subtle effervescence to the floating glass components. This wreath of graduated translucent flower heads (circa 1938) was produced by Gripoix for Chanel and reflects the late 1930s vogue for romantic nature-based motifs.
Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.