Fire and Light:
NEWARK, N.J. – The exhibition “Fire and Light: 3000 Years of Glass Artistry” opened on August 15 at The Newark Museum. The exhibit, comprised of more than 100 objects, pairs pieces from the museum’s own renowned Eugene Schaefer collection of ancient glass with those of three private collectors – the Allaire collection, the Schefler collection and the Simon collection – and will be on view until January 20.
“Fire and Light” has been designed to coincide with the unveiling of the reinstallation of The Newark Museum’s own internationally known Eugene Schaefer collection of ancient glass.
“Fire and Light” includes rdf_Descriptions from ancient Rome, Syria and Egypt, as well as glass objects created in Europe and the United States from the 1500s through the present. The exhibit follows the use of glass from its beginnings as a rare and magical medium in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, through the colorful perfume containers of ancient Greece, to its mass production under the Romans.
Ancient Roman sculpture, pottery and metalwork is displayed to show other aspects of Roman daily life. Glass in jewelry and women’s vanity rdf_Descriptions is also shown, as is the mystery of the wondrous iridescence of ancient glass, which fascinated American glassmakers such as Louis Comfort Tiffany. Video installations offer clips of master glassmaker Bill Gudenrath demonstrating ancient techniques for working the challenging medium of glass.
Individual pieces include a Frankish cone beaker courtesy of the Allaire collection and a rare glass bust of a goddess from the Schefler collection. The bust, dating from the Second and Third Century AD, is of special importance, as glass sculptures of the human figure rarely survived from antiquity.
From the collection of Ellen and Don Simon, there is a tall-necked perfume bottle, with its original contents sealed inside. Pieces from Dale Chihuly and Toots Zynsky represent the modern faces of glass artistry and vividly portray the numerous advances made in the field.
The Eugene Schaefer collection of ancient glass installation is comprised of over 125 pieces of ancient glass from 1500 BC Egypt through Greece, Roman and the Islamic cultures through 1200 AD.
“The new gallery will more effectively place these objects in their cultural and historic context,” says Susan H. Auth, an ancient glass scholar and curator of the museum’s classical collections.
Ulysses Dietz, curator of decorative arts from The Newark Museum, and Susan Auth, curator of the classical collection at The Newark Museum, are the project directors for this exhibition.
Admission is free at The Newark Museum, located at 49 Washington Street in the downtown/arts district. Hours are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 pm; Thursday from noon to 8:30 pm. For information or directions, call 800-7-MUSEUM.