Venetian Glass Birds: Lino Tagliapietra Opens March 28 at Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion

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A small exhibition of elegant blown glass birds recently created by the distinguished Venetian Maestro Lino Tagliapietra opens March 28 at the Toledo Museum of Art. The show is in celebration of the annual songbird migration through the marshes along the southern shore of Lake Erie.

On view in Gallery 2 of the Glass Pavilion, the chosen objects represent three recent series created by this world-renowned master of glassblowing. Admission is free.

For nearly half a century Lino Tagliapietra has developed a distinctive style that explores and expands on intricate traditional Venetian glassblowing techniques.

“Filigree glass has remained the most popular and complex Italian decorating technique since the early 16th century, and Maestro Tagliapietra applies it at the same high level of skill as his Renaissance ancestors to capture the plumage of sculptural bird forms,” said Jutta-Annette Page, the Museum’s curator of glass and decorative arts.

“Expressive combinations of pattern and color transform his fluid forms into striking objects that hold their own in the broader context of contemporary art in glass,” Page added, noting, “He is the greatest living master of Venetian glass technology.”

The approximately two dozen colorful objects selected for this show represent the theme of birds in three distinct series: Ala explores the stylized shapes of birds in flight, delicate Petra embodies roosting birds, and the elegant Fenice signifies the mythical phoenix rising from the ashes, a sacred firebird symbolizing rebirth.

The exhibition is scheduled in conjunction with Maestro Tagliapietra’s residency at the Museum as part of its Guest Artist Pavilion Project (GAPP) from March 26–29 and with the show In Fine Feather: Birds, Art & Science on view April 25–July 6 in Gallery 18 of the Main Museum. Both exhibitions coincide with the Biggest Week in American Birding, an annual northwest Ohio festival held during the spring migration of songbirds.

For information on viewing Maestro Tagliapietra at work during open studio sessions at the Museum, visit

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