Stanford University's Cantor Arts Center Presents An Exhibition Of 19th-Century Venetian Blown Glass

September 18 – December 29, 2002
Contact: Anna Koster, Public Relations Manager at (650) 725-4657

Stanford, CA, February 8, 2002—The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University presents 120 Venetian glass vessels from the extensive collection of 19th-century glassware given to the museum in 1903 by the celebrated Venetian firm Salviati & Company. The selection includes vessels in all the techniques, styles and colors that have made the Venetian island of Murano famous since the Renaissance. Salviati at Stanford: Venetian Glass of the 1890s, is open free to the public from September 18 through December 29.

For Americans traveling abroad in the years after the Civil War, the allure of Venice was great. Tourists were fascinated by glass manufacture. In 1883, Leland and Jane Stanford visited the Salviati shop on the Grand Canal with their son, Leland Stanford Junior, only months before the boy¹s death. Jane Lathrop Stanford long remembered the visit and chose Salviati mosaics in 1900 for the extensive decoration of the Stanford Memorial Church.

Maurizio Camerino and Silvio Salviati, partners in the firm that supplied the mosaic for the Church, gave a collection of jugs, jars, bottles, bowls, vases, and goblets to the memorial museum founded in 1885, with the university. Carol Osborne, former Associate Director and Chief Curator of the Stanford University Museum, is the guest curator for this exhibition. The museum was renamed the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University in 1999, when it opened after 10 years of construction and enlargement in the wake of the Loma Prieta earthquake.

The technique for blowing glass was discovered in the first century B.C. From the late 13th century, Murano was the center of the Venetian glass industry, which flourished during the 16th and 17th centuries. The industry and artistry of blown glass was revived in the 19th century by Antonio Salviati, whose artists often modeled their designs on historic pieces in Murano¹s glass museum. Salviati masters of the glassblowing art made objects in chalcedony, filigree and mosaic glass as well as decorative vessels in a fantastic complexity of animal forms, including sea-horses, dolphins, hippogriffs and dragons.

A fully illustrated, color catalogue of the entire collection of 245 objects, accompanies the exhibition. The catalogue, with an essay by Osborne on the history of the Salviati firm and its patronage by Jane Lathrop Stanford, is available in the Cantor Arts Center Bookshop. The exhibition and catalogue are made possible through the generosity of an anonymous donor and the Passan Foundation.