NORFOLK, VA.- The Chrysler Museum of Art
today announced the acquisition of an exceptional 17-inch glass cameo plaque created by George and Thomas Woodall. Entitled The Attack, the piece dates from the late 19th century and is the Woodall brothers last artistic collaboration. English cameo glass was some of the most expensive glass ever produced. Large plaques like The Attack were difficult and time-consuming to create and a piece the size and quality of The Attack is especially rare.
The Chrysler Museum of Arts acquisition of The Attack marks the reunion of this piece with its companion, The Intruders, from which it has been separated for decades. When the Museum acquired The Intruders in 1999, the pair of works had already been separated for many years. The Museums glass collection, considered to be one of the finest in the world, also includes a set of pendant vases by the Woodall brothers, Before The Race and The Race.
The addition of this significant plaque enhances our outstanding collection of glass, and were excited to reunite these two long-separated works, said Museum Director William Hennessey. Were looking forward to presenting these visually stunning masterpieces together in our expanded and renovated galleries opening in the spring of 2014.
The Attack features a scene of a female figure dressed in diaphanous drapery fending off an attack by intrudersflying putti. The figures are under a canopy of drapes, with landscapes framing classical architectural elements. The Attack and The Intruders represent the height of the Woodall brothers skill and contributed considerably to their reputation as Englands most important carvers of cameo glass. Remarkably, photographs of the work in process survive and provide important historical documentation of the intricate process of cameo carving.
The Chrysler Museum is currently undergoing a renovation and expansion project that is enabling the Museum to completely reinstall its collection and develop new exhibition and interpretive strategies. The acquisition of The Attack marks the continuing growth of the Chrysler's nationally recognized permanent collection.