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The exhibition

The exhibition L’Envers du Verre invites you to discover the fascinatingly rich world of glass, a material we handle every day, but one that harbours its secrets well. Discover numerous objects, films and photographs drawn from the collections of the Avesnois Ecomuseum and many other institutions (the museums of Northern France, the National Museum of Arts and Crafts – CNAM, private collectors, designers, French master craftsmen and women, the National Audiovisual Institute – INA) and immerse yourself in the secrets of glassmaking, its composition, properties, skills and techniques.


Liquid and solid, opaque and transparent, resilient and fragile, rigid and flexible, energy-consuming and recyclable: the properties of glass are contradictory but also have extraordinary potential. In honour of the complex and divergent nature of this material, the exhibition features an interplay of contrasts designed to generate a dialogue between the objects. Four themed itineraries invite you to discover the multifaceted story of glass as viewed through archaeology, ethnology, art, design, science and technology.


The exhibition runs from 2 February to 5 December 2021 at the Textile and Working Life Museum in Fourmies. You can extend your voyage into the world of glassmaking with a visit to the Trélon Glass Museum Workshop, a nineteenth-century glassworks featuring an impressive furnace room. Demonstrations in connection with the exhibition are also scheduled. This website, a catalogue and numerous pieces produced in the Ecomuseum add an extra dimension to the exhibition experience.

The exhibition immerse yourself in the secrets of glassmaking, its composition, properties, skills and techniques.

The origins of glass
Natural glass was probably first discovered by chance around 5000 BC on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
Glass has considerably changed our daily lives. Its transparency, capacity to take colour, plasticity and hardness make it a multipurpose material.
People, technique & expertise
Techniques, tools, furnaces and machines have continuously evolved over the centuries.