by Anna Venini De Santillana (Editor), Anna Venini de Santillana (Editor) Hardcover - 352 pages (June 2000)
Thanks to its authoritative authors and completeness of content, this volume will long remain the prime reference source on the extraordinary production of Venini, considered by many to represent the zenith of glassmaking art in the 20th century. The initial essays illustrate the peculiarity, taste and iconography of Venini production and examine its enormous influence on the art of glassmaking in Europe and the United States. Then comes a complete catalogue of all the production of Vetreria Venini, in 224 entries, starting with activity of founder Paolo from 1921 to 1951, to his son-in-law Ludovico de Santillana, from 1959 to 1986, dividing the catalogue by the designers who collaborated in the realization of the Venini prototypes, including Bianconi, Buzzi, Zecchin and Scarpa. It then offers a facsimile reproduction of the historical Vetreria Venini catalogues, with the capi serie
and inventory numbers. The appendices include a glossary of technical terms, a chronology of the exhibitions, a biography of Venini, a chronology of the master glassmakers, brief biographies of the designers and a general bibliography.
The book demands to be purchased because of the intrinsic beauty of the pieces reproduced (many unknown to the general public) and the richness of the appendices, making the book a must for scholars and especially for antique dealers, merchants and collectors (especially in the United States, where Venini glass is famous and where the most significant private collection exist). The strength of the volume is the completeness of its cataloguing which also includes the lighting systems and the reproductions of the three historical catalogues (blue, red and green) for identifying and cataloguing the pieces in readers' collections. The authors, in addition to the editor, daughter of Paolo Venini and recognized expert in the glassmaking art, include Helmut Ricke, director the Decorative Arts Museum of Düsseldorf, and Attilia Dorigato, director of the Glass Museum of Murano.