The Magic of the Lamp

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The Magic of the Lamp: Flameworked Glass from the Permanent Collection


West Bridge
October 17, 2002 to February 16, 2003

Portable Shrine, France, probably Nevers, 1700-1725. 58.3.218.The Magic of the Lamp: Flameworked Glass from the Permanent Collection showcased a diverse group of objects from the Museum’s collection that illustrate the skill and creativity of flameworkers from the 17th century to the present. This engaging survey exhibition reflected the recent surge in popularity of flameworking as a medium for art in glass. Today’s flameworking artists are exploring new ways to expand the use of flameworking techniques. They have sparked a renaissance as they push the boundaries of the medium, creating increasingly large and complex objects with a variety of tools and a range of techniques.

The shrine on the right displays three scenes from the life of Jesus [58.3.218]. The lampworked glass figurines appear in composite landscapes with decorative details made of paper, fabric, glass chips, plaster, and shells glued into place. Metal fittings attached to the wooden case permitted the shrine to be carried like a backpack in a procession.

At the bottom is a Nativity scene with the Magi arriving on the right. The center section presents Jesus praying at Gethsemane. His disciples are gathered on the right, while Judas enters from the left. The dragon on Judas’s head represents Satan inciting him to betray Jesus, as is reported in John 13:2. In the Crucifixion scene at the top, Jesus is shown on the Cross at Calvary, flanked by two robbers. In front is a baptism, possibly depicting Christ at the river Jordan.

Concentric Validation - Artwork
Anthem of Joy in Glass - Artwork
Chess Set - Artwork
Natura Morta (Still Life) - Artwork
Sitting Lion - Artwork
Dessert Decoration in the form of a Glass Garden - Artwork
Winged Covered Goblet - Artwork
Passion Bottle - Artwork
Shirts, Cherries, and Snowflakes, Of Course - Artwork
Mechanical Glass Theater - Artwork