Glass + Glamour Steuben’s Modern Movement 1930-1960
Author: Donald Albrecht
Publisher/Date: Museum of the City of New York/Harry Abrams (c. 2003) Published in conjunction with the exhibition.
Format/Condition: New paperback book with French flaps in Fine condition. 96 pages; 10 x 12 inches. Profusely illustrated in black-and-white.
Description: The avant-garde decades of Steuben Glass coincided with America's own heady days of modernism in the middle years of the twentieth century. Beginning in the 1930s, the company sought to marry art and industry, function and beauty, glass and glamour, aligning its aesthetic with the progressive art and design sensibilities of the time. This moment also linked design to the era's ultimate modern metropolis, New York City. Steuben's new glass, designed in Manhattan, was fashioned in a range of styles, its repertoire rendered modern by the radical clarity of the company's revolutionary crystal. Steuben's iconic objects from this period unequivocally achieved their early promise to be "as typical of our modern life as the skyscraper or the airplane."
The exhibition and book explore a remarkable chapter in the history of both America's premier crystal and the modern movement in art and design in New York City. Marking the centenary of Steuben and featuring 80-100 glass masterpieces from important American and European museums and private collections, the exhibition focused in particular upon the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. Monumental bowls, stemware, and exquisitely sculpted and copper-wheel-engraved pieces from Steuben's elite mid-century lines are featured.
The glass artifacts featured range from limited edition to one-of-a-kind master works, to decorative objects to tableware and such items as cigarette urns and ashtrays, decanters and candlestick holders. Sidney Waugh's famous Gazelle Bowl, George Thompson's Galapagos Bowl, Donald Pollard's Ship's Decanter, John Dreves' Olive Dish are a few of the highlights as well as works by such celebrated artists as Salvador Dalí and Isamu Noguchi.
This book captures the look and feel of this era at Steuben and the glittering era in New York City's life and art by bringing together vintage photographs and ephemera of the age such as books, invitations, press clippings, ad campaigns and other printed matter, all from Steuben's own extensive archive.