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Arts & Design

Glassmaking was for a long time considered such a unique skill that master glassmakers enjoyed special privileges and their creations were viewed as luxury objects. A number of advances in technology in the nineteenth century transformed the industry and, as a result, glass was reduced to being an everyday manufactured object. Undaunted by such changes, a handful of glass artists, such as Émile Gallé, seized the opportunities that these technological advances offered and set about revisiting the expertise of the ancient glassmakers. Thereafter they worked very closely with glassworks in the production of their works.

In the first half of the twentieth century, René Lalique, Maurice Marinot and René Coulon revolutionized our conception of glass. By the 1960s artists were starting to distance themselves from their industrial collaborators in order to set up independent studios, which gave rise to the Studio Glass movement. Today the boundaries between art, the decorative arts and design have blurred. Designers are assimilating modern techniques and drawing inspiration from the history and expertise of glassmakers to create objects which resonate with their time, their environment, their influences and their aesthetic sensibility.