21st Century Engraved Glass Exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum

The Fitzwilliam Museum brings together a selection of the finest contemporary glass engraving, showcasing the artistry of the Guild of Glass Engravers. Open through 15 August 2010.

The Guild, which is the only organisation devoted to this art form and counts internationally-renowned artists amongst its number, was founded in 1975 by a small group of British engravers. The organisation promotes the highest standards of craftsmanship in glass engraving, as well as a creative approach to design.

Chris Ainslie, Man of Letters © Chris Ainslie

21st Century Engraved Glass explores the sheer diversity of engraving techniques – from pre-Roman to modern methods – used by Guild members, revealing the vast possibilities of this incredibly versatile medium. These methods range from fine stipple engraving, with its delicate range of tones, to copper-wheel, drill and sand blast techniques, which can be used to deep-cut, carve and sculpt the glass. Vivid coloured layers can also be incorporated into a piece, and subjects explored in the exhibition range from traditional illustrative and figurative engraving to lettering and modern abstract work.

Timothy Potts, Director of The Fitzwilliam Museum, said: “It’s often said that engraving on glass is like painting with light. Its brilliant translucency, so well illustrated in this exhibition, shows the artists exploring the unique three dimensional and multi-layered potential of this medium. Visitors who are not familiar with modern artistic engraving will be astonished by the range of effects which can be achieved.”

Talks and demonstrations of glass engraving at The Fitzwilliam Museum

21st Century Glass offers the opportunity for visitors to discover the craft of glass engraving for themselves as part of two public demonstrations at the Fitzwilliam. These free events will both follow talks on the subjects by engraving experts.

Sat 26 June 2010 | 13:15 to 14:15
A Sense of Place: Glass Engraving with Katharine Coleman MBE
Demonstration to follow: 14:30 to 16:30

Sat 31 July 2010 | 13:15 to 14:15
Glass Engraving: the 20th Century Revival with Geoff Thwaites, Fellow of the Guild of Glass Engravers
Demonstration to follow: 14:30 to 16:30

Further information can be found at http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/whatson/

The Fitzwilliam Museum
The Fitzwilliam Museum houses the University of Cambridge’s art collection and is a public museum and art gallery with an international reputation. More than half a million objects and works of art are held in five curatorial departments: Antiquities, Applied Arts, Coins and Medals, Manuscripts and Printed Books and Paintings, Drawings and Prints.

The Fitzwilliam’s treasures range from Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities to the arts of the 21st century and include masterpieces by Titian, Canaletto, Stubbs, Constable, Monet, Renoir and Picasso, one of the world’s foremost Rembrandt print collections, Handel music manuscripts and the famous Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, one of the most significant collections of Korean ceramics outside South-East Asia, medieval illuminated manuscripts and outstanding collections of pottery, porcelain and medieval coins.

The Fitzwilliam Museum welcomes over 300,000 visitors a year, offers a wide-ranging programme of temporary exhibitions and events, and has an award-winning Education Service. The Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday: 10.00 – 17.00, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays: 12.00 – 17.00. Free admission.


Guild of Glass Engravers
The Guild of Glass Engravers was founded in 1975 by a small group of British engravers who were keen to establish a professional body for this art form. Laurence Whistler was invited to be the first President and John Hutton the first Vice President. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was its first Patron. The primary aims of the Guild are to promote the highest standards of creative design and craftsmanship in glass engraving. For more information, email [email protected] or tel 0208 446 4050.


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