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Glass: A Short History

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.

Hardcover: 128 pages

Publisher: Smithsonian Books (May 29, 2012)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1588343243

ISBN-13: 978-1588343246

Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 0.7 x 10 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #298,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #10 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Chemical > Coatings, Ceramics & Glass #44 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Antiques & Collectibles > Houseware & Dining > Glass & Glassware #85 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Crafts & Hobbies > Glass & Glassware

This book is excellent for a person curious about glass or one who wants to see examples of glass and techniques through the ages. Yes it's "A Short History" meaning there are details which will enlighten you but not everything there is to know about the piece. In this "let's show you what's out there" book you are exposed to many specialty styles, eras, and countries that are covered more extensively in other books.Chapters cover Glass Before Glassblowing, Ancient Rome (more thorough than even the books I'm going to recommend), Europe pre- and post- Renaissance, Islamic and Eastern Asia, and America. Where there isn't a photo on the page, a full page photo will be on the adjacent page so you can see exactly what the text is discussing. The commentary is easy to follow and understand and the glasses, goblets, vases, etc are a feast for the eyes.The photos are from the Corning Museum of Glass principally and the British Museum. So if you want to look at more of Corning's collection, you will enjoy "Masterpieces of Glass" (the books share a few of the same items). If you would like more Venetian style creations, then "Beyond Venice" is from the same collection and shows how other countries imitated the style but incorporated their own accents. These are large coffee table books.Many like the elegance of European glass. There are two books that will provide hours of enjoyment from their commentary and hundreds of color photos: "European Glass from 1500-1800" which includes a lot of etched glass and "Sotheby's Encyclopedia of Glass" which begins its historical narrative in Medieval times.

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