Artwork of the Week: July 3

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Manufacturer: Orrefors Glasbruk, Sweden; designer: Niels Tove Edward Hald (Swedish, 1883–1980), Fireworks Bowl.

Manufacturer: Orrefors Glasbruk, Sweden; designer: Niels Tove Edward Hald (Swedish, 1883–1980), Fireworks Bowl. Blown glass, with acid-etched and engraved decoration, 1921. H. 8 3/16 in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 1978.58. Glass Pavilion, Glass Study Room

The exuberant design on this engraved glass bowl shows a stylized fireworks display bursting above a gazebo in a tree-lined garden. Swedish Modern glass, first developed by Orrefors Glassworks in the 1910s, suggested “frozen liquid” in its simplicity and beauty. Edward (Edvard) Hald, one of Orrefors’ chief designers during the 1920s and 1930s, popularized the company’s engraved glass, which often used colorless glass, clean, strong lines, and Art Deco ornament. Each design required close collaboration between the artist, the master glassblower, and the engraver. As Hald explained, “An artist working in glass is primarily the director of a drama featuring the master and his colleagues plus a glowing lump of semi-molten glass….”


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