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Rooms for Glass

LE STANZE DEL VETRO (Rooms for Glass) A long-term Fondazione Giorgio Cini project to study and develop the appreciation of Venice’s glassmaking art, in collaboration with Pentagram Stiftung The Fondazione Giorgio Cini has unveiled LE STANZE DEL VETRO (Rooms for Glass), a cultural project devoted to studying the Venetian art of glassmaking in the 20th and 21st centuries. Due to run for nine years, the project is being carried out in collaboration with Pentagram Stiftung, a private Swiss-based foundation whose statutory aim is to promote and support the art and culture of historic and contemporary glassmaking, especially in Venice. To this end, the Fondazione Cini has set up a special Study Centre in its Institute of Art History to promote: a) the gradual establishment of a General Archive of Venetian Glass, to be made available to the scholarly community and to be used in reviving and developing the art of glassmaking; b) the creation of a specialised library within the art history library; c) the organisation of seminars, conferences and workshops for scholars and artists interested in the history, technology and development of the art of glassmaking; d) the institution of scholarships specifically addressed to researchers interested in the topic; e) the periodic organisation of exhibitions on Venetian glass.

The building chosen for the Rooms for Glass exhibition is the left wing of the ex-Convitto (a former boarding school) on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore. With 650 square metres of exhibition space, the exhibition centre will not only host exhibitions but also conferences, workshops and other events dedicated to glass. The renovation of this long-unutilised building was designed by Selldorf Architects, a New York firm led by Annabelle Selldorf, that specialises in the design of museums, galleries and other art-related spaces. Previous projects by Selldorf Architects include: the Neue Galerie, New York; the David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea, New York; the Hauser & Wirth Gallery, London, New York and Zurich; and exhibition designs for the London and New York venues of the Gagosian Gallery and the Gladstone Gallery. This fall the firm is designing the new Frieze Masters Art Fair in London. For the Venice project the New York firm collaborated with architects Fabrizio Cattaruzza and Francesco Millosevich, who in 2008 had refurbished the other exhibition spaces of the ex-Convitto in the Cini Foundation. The design includes a series of galleries, with custom designed vitrines, pedestals and other forms of display, to create a logical visual continuity within the space and the various exhibition levels.

From the point of view of developing the art of glassmaking in general, the Rooms for Glass project also aims to organise events and initiatives in collaboration with major Venetian and international institutions, such as the Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia, the Murano Glass Museum and Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. The initiatives will be dedicated both to contemporary artists who have used glass as an original means of expression and medium in their poetics and also to highlighting and studying the leading producers and major collections of glass worldwide.

As part of the Rooms for Glass project, the Cini Foundation has set up a dedicated Study Centre in its Institute of Art History. In addition to the periodic organisation of exhibitions on Venetian glass, the Study Centre will promote: the gradual construction of a General Archive of Venetian Glass, to be made available to the scholarly community and for use in reviving and developing the art of glassmaking; the creation of a specialised library within the art history library; the organisation of seminars, conferences and workshops for scholars and artists interested in the history, technology and development of the art of glassmaking; and lastly, scholarships specifically addressed to researchers interested in the topic.

The activities in the Rooms for Glass project rely on a scientific committee made up of Giuseppe Pavanello, Director of the Giorgio Cini Foundation Institute of Art History and: Marino Barovier, Rosa Barovier Mentasti, David Landau, Laura de Santillana and Nico Stringa.

Exhibition Carlo Scarpa. Venini 1932–1947

29 August - 29 November

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