A Short History

Book - 2012
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"Illustrated with 120 superb pieces, Glass: A Short History brings to life a centuries-old craft that has served many purposes, styles, and cultures. Until the first century BC, glass was made only in Western Asia, Egypt, and the Mediterranean regions; its manufacture then spread to China and other areas. The peoples of the Roman Empire included the most versatile glassmakers in the ancient world, leading to both widely available low-cost glassware and stunning luxury glass. During the Middle Ages, Islamic glassworkers decorated their fine cut glass with gilding and brilliant enamel. In the 15th century, the focus of luxury glassmaking shifted to Venice. Glassmaking in Europe was transformed again in the 17th century, when thick-walled objects with cut and engraved ornament were in great demand. By the nineteenth century, glassmaking was well established in America, where, as in Europe, industrial processes were developed to supply the rapidly expanding population with glassware for daily use. Within the past 50 years glass has gained acceptance as a medium for artistic expression, and the Studio Glass Movement, born in the United States, has inspired artists all over the world to explore its unique properties. Glass tells this sweeping story from ancient times to the present in an accessible text with gorgeous examples"-- Provided by publisher.
"A concise history of glassmaking around the world, from Mesopotamia to the present day"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Washington, DC : Smithsonian Books, 2012
ISBN: 9781588343246
Branch Call Number: 748.09 WHITEHO
Characteristics: 128 pages : color illustrations, color map ; 26 cm


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Jul 02, 2012

Glass: a Short History by David Whitehouse. First of all lets make sure you know what this book ISN’T about: it isn’t about the manufacture of flat glass, and this includes stained glass, window pane glass and mirrors. Nor is it about modern industrial glass production .And while it does include a brief summary of the history of glass and glassmaking.
However what this book IS about is glass as artistry. It is about glass making through history. It is about the wondrous glass vessels (cristallo), the goblets and beakers, the cameo glass and the enameled glass beakers produced in so many parts of the world. Because glass making was such a difficult craft, objects created of it were extremely expensive and usually affordable only by the titled or the wealthy. As a result, the products often rivaled the products of the goldsmith in craftsmanship and in value.
This book isn’t very big, only about 120 pages but the illustrations of the glassmakers craft are sumptuous: nary a page goes by without full colour illustrations.


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