Glass as fine art: Lino Tagliapietra blows into the Morris Museum from Italy

Lino Tagliapietra, 'Angel Tear,' Blown Glass, 2011. Photo Russell Johnson.
Lino Tagliapietra, 'Angel Tear,' Blown Glass, 2011. Photo Russell Johnson.

By Kevin Coughlin

Maybe you’re the type who sees the glass as half full. Or maybe it’s half empty.

Lino Tagliapietra, 'Angel Tear,' Blown Glass, 2011. Photo Russell Johnson.
Lino Tagliapietra, ‘Angel Tear,’ Blown Glass, 2011. Photo Russell Johnson.

Either way, it’s not going to measure up after you see Lino Tagliapietra’s exhibit at the Morris Museum.

That’s what curator Alexandra Willis is betting. Lino Tagliapietra: Maestro of a Glass Renaissance opens on Sunday, March 12, 2017, and spans a career that started on the Venetian island of Murano at the end of World War II, when the apprentice glass blower was 11.

“There is such a variety of shapes and patterns and colors, it will be hard to pick a favorite. I’m having trouble doing so,” Willis said of the show, which features more than 30 of Tagliapietra’s works.

They range from traditional Muranese glass vessels, goblets and bowls to art pieces influenced by the American Studio Glass Movement of the 1980s, to contemporary two-dimensional fused glass panels that defy simple labels, Willis said.

Lino Tagliapietra, 'Dinosaur,' Blown Glass, 2004. Photo Russell Johnson.
Lino Tagliapietra, ‘Dinosaur,’ Blown Glass, 2004. Photo Russell Johnson.

Handle with care: Tagliapietra’s pieces command prices of $35,000 to upwards of $200,000, she said. 

Co-curator Jim Schantz runs Schantz Galleries in Stockbridge, MA, and has represented Tagliapietra for more than 20 years. The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a sponsor. 

The exhibition runs through June 18, 2017, and includes several special programs–starting with a 10 am breakfast tour on March 12 led by the artist himself. 

Space is limited; call 973-971-3710 for details about all the programs, or see the museum website. 

Here’s what is coming:



The Luxurious Art of Glass: A History
Wednesday, March 15, 2 pm
Virginia Fabbri Butera, PhD, explores the art of glass making from Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to Lino Tagliapietra and the Seattle glass scene today.
Tickets: $10.

The Magic of Glass Through Time
Wednesday, April 19, 2 pm
Discover the varied uses of glass through the ages with Patricia Elaine, owner of the Morris County School of Glass.
Tickets: $10.

From Murano to Seattle: Lino Tagliapietra’s Journey 
Sunday, April 23, 1 pm
Andrew Page, editor of  GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly, discusses the life and art of glass master Lino Tagliapietra.
Tickets: Free for Museum Members; $5 plus Museum admission for Non-Members.

Ladies’ Night Out: Meet us in Murano
Wednesday, April 26, 6:30-8:30 pm
In celebration of  the exhibition: Italian-themed light fare and cocktails, a curator-led tour,  shopping. Proceeds benefit the Museum.
Tickets: $40 Non-Members; $30 Museum Members; $20 Students/Teachers.

An Exploration of the Art of Lino Tagliapietra
Wednesday, May 17, 2 pm
Join Co-Curator Jim Schantz for a walking tour of the exhibition. Schantz has represented and known the artist for more than 20 years.
Tickets: $10.

The Museum is at 6 Normandy Heights Road, Morris Township.



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