The Gemeentemuseum has always collected glass and its targeted acquisitions policies have made its unique collection one of the most important in any museum in the Netherlands. This exhibition focuses on European glass in the period between 400 and 1900. The exhibition is divided into two periods: Glittering Glass I (glass of Venice and glass produced à la Façon de Venise, the green Waldglas ("forest glass"), rummers, utility glass and Spielerei) will run from 14 March to 28 June and Glittering Glass II (decorative techniques: enamelling, cutting, diamond-point engraving, wheel-engraving and the stipple engraving) from 4 July to 1 November.
The museum’s collection is the result of targeted acquisitions policies instituted by H.E. van Gelder – director of the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag from 1912 to 1941 – and pursued by successive directors since his time. Van Gelder knew exactly what objects were outstanding and worth acquiring. His interest was not confined to any particular period or style. The contact between Van Gelder and Dutch collector W.J.H. (Pim) Mulier – who had a splendid glass collection of his own – was an extremely important factor. The two men advised each other and frequently went on purchasing trips together. When Mulier died in 1954, he left his entire glass collection to the museum. Since then, the museum has received a number of other major donations and bequests from private collectors, as well as continuing to pursue an active acquisitions policy right down to the present day.
Glittering Glass, 1500 Years of European Glass offers a comprehensive overview of glass production over the fifteen centuries concerned. To give full scope for completeness, the exhibition is divided into two periods: Glittering Glass I will run from 14 March to 28 June and Glittering Glass II from 4 July to 1 November. Between the two shows, the relevant exhibition areas will be closed for the change-over.
Glittering Glass I will feature not only the elegant glass of Venice and glass produced à la Façon de Venise in countries like France and the Netherlands, but also the green Waldglas (“forest glass”), rummers, utility glass and Spielerei of northern Europe.
Glittering Glass II will showcase the results of the various decorative techniques used over the period, including enamelling, cutting, diamond-point engraving, wheel-engraving and – last but not least – the stipple engraving technique with which Dutch glassworkers achieved such feats of decoration in extraordinarily sophisticated and artistically engraved objects that are a delight to the eye.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a detailed, lavishly illustrated Dutch-language catalogue entitled Glinsterend Glas, 1500 Europese glaskunst; authors Jet Pijzel-Dommisse and Titus M. Eliëns (published by Waanders at € 44.95).
Parallel to Glittering Glass,1500 Years of European Glass, the Gemeentemuseum presents Glass, Gerrit Rietveld Academy Amsterdam 1969-2009, an exhibition marking the fortieth anniversary of that institution’s Glass Department.