The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, June 21, 2018

Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity Returns to the Getty Villa
Unknown, Vessel with 13 Handles, 3rd-4th century A.D. Glass. Object: H: 8.2 X Diam: 9.7 cm. 2003.398. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity, which opened this week at the Getty Villa, features more than 350 pieces of beautiful and rare ancient glass, acquired from the collection of Erwin Oppenländer. The 2003 acquisition of this collection placed the Getty Museum among the nation’s leading institutions for the display and study of ancient glass.

The exhibition features approximately 180 pieces of glass and explores all facets of glassmaking in antiquity, presenting some of the earliest glass objects made, including perfume flasks, bowls, and beads. It highlights the remarkable quality and chronological and technical breadth of this group of works, which spans the entire period of ancient glass production.

Erwin Oppenländer (German, 1901–1988) assembled his collection in the mid-20th century. His determination to form a comprehensive collection is evident in the quality of the objects he acquired, which cover all periods of glass production, from its origins in Mesopotamia in about 2500 B.C. to Byzantine and Islamic glass of the 11th-century A.D. Also notable is the variety of ancient glassmaking techniques represented, such as casting, core forming, mosaic, inflating, mold blowing, incising, and cutting; techniques that are still used by glass artists today. The exhibition presents the objects arranged by their method of manufacture, and is accompanied by text and videos illustrating ancient glassmaking techniques.

In antiquity, glass served a variety of functions. It was used for windows and for architectural decoration in the form of mosaics and inlays. In the first century A.D., glass began to replace bronze and terracotta as the preferred material for drinking, dining, and food storage vessels. Small glass jars were produced for perfumed oil and cosmetics. Objects such as jewelry, lamps, inkwells, mirrors, gamepieces, and statuettes were also made of glass.

This popular show was one of the three inaugural exhibitions that marked the reopening of the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa in Malibu. It had closed in 1997 for major renovations and reopened with a new mission as an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria in 2006.

“When the Oppenländer collection was acquired in 2003, we were too far into the planning stages for the museum’s galleries to include it in the displays of the permanent collection. In its initial installation, Molten Color showcased this remarkable collection of glass and was extremely popular with our visitors. I am very pleased that we are able to return the glass to display again since it richly deserves to be on view,” says Karol Wight, senior curator of antiquities for the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Glassmaking Techniques in Antiquity
Many of the earliest glass vessels, dating to about 2500 B.C., were made in Mesopotamia by forming a core of ceramic-like material around a metal rod and then encasing it in molten glass. Flasks for scented oils were usually made this way. Another early technique involved pouring hot glass into a mold. These core-forming and casting processes were used for more than 1,500 years, and were the only techniques used until the appearance of mosaic glass in the 2nd-century B.C.

Like stone mosaic, mosaic glass is made up of a number of small pieces fused together. Ribbon glass was made by fusing canes or rods of glass placed side by side, while marbled glass was created from multiple colors of glass that were heated and melted together to form patterns similar to multi-colored stones. Mosaic glass vessels are ammost colorful types of ancient containers. In the mid first century B.C., glassmakers working in and around Jerusalem discovered that molten glass could be inflated into a bubble at the end of a hollow tube. This blowing technique revolutionized the glass industry, allowing vessels to be made quickly and more cheaply, and glassware began to replace clay vessels for household use. Later, glass vessels were also manufactured by inflating glass into molds made of stone, clay, bronze, and plaster. The molds were designed with figural and floral decoration, and sometimes even phrases in Greek or Latin, and could be used to make glass pieces of the same pattern over and over again.

Getty Villa | Molten Color | Erwin Oppenländer |

Today's News

October 8, 2009

Exhibition of Cosmic, Utopian and Experimental Works by Georges Vantongerloo

Egypt Announces It Has Cut Ties with France's Louvre Museum

Caravaggio's "Adoration of the Shepherds" to be Restored in Public

Fashion, Celebrity Photographer Irving Penn Dies at 92

Gagosian Presents an Exhibition of Selected Illustrated Spreads by Ed Ruscha

Hirshhorn Museum Opens Exhibition of Pioneering Figure in American Abstract Art

Newseum Recreates Journalist Tim Russert's Office in Exhibit

Stunning Safavid Rug from Late 16th Century Sold for $4.34 Million

Major Retrospective of Hungarian Artist László Moholy-Nagy at the Schirn

Landmark Sheeler Painting Acquired by Amon Carter Museum

Molten Color: Glassmaking in Antiquity Returns to the Getty Villa

Arts of the Samurai Sale at Christie's New York on October 23

Exhibition of the May Queen's Wedding Chest on View at Bismarck Foundation

Miami's Bacardi Buildings Win Historic Protection

William Kentridge and Oleg Kudryashov at The Kreeger Museum

The Heckscher Museum of Art Appoints Judith A. Jedlicka Interim Executive Director

An Insightful Look Into an Important Canadian Photographer's 50 Years Career

Aperture Foundation 2009 Benefit and Auction to be Held at The Lighthouse

Scribe will Write Out the Entire Text of the Torah at San Francisco Museum

Center Stage Exhibition Commemorates New AT&T Performing Arts Center

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Related Stories

Getty Villa to Present Apollo from Pompeii: Investigating an Ancient Bronze

Aztec and Roman Empires Confronted at the Getty Villa

Aristophanes Zany Comedy Peace Takes the Stage at the Getty Villa

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful