Published: September 5, 2017
NORFOLK, VA. – The Chrysler Museum of Art showcases one of the most influential French designers of the Twentieth Century, René Lalique, in its new exhibition, “René Lalique: Enchanted by Glass,” a comprehensive look at Lalique’s career tracing the development of his artistry and innovation through displays of glass decor, jewelry, production molds and design drawings. The exhibition is on view September 15-January 21.
Trained through an apprenticeship with Parisian jewelry designer Louis Aucoc in the Art Nouveau style, Lalique (1860-1945) freelanced for Cartier and Boucheron before opening his own shop in 1885. Within five years, his designs were the favorite of the era’s celebrities, including famed actress Sarah Bernhardt. His experiments with glass in jewelry led him to explore the further applications of glass, such as his well-crafted perfume bottles for perfumer François Coty.
Lalique received wide acclaim on the international stage when he displayed his jewelry at the 1900 Paris Exposition, which attracted nearly 50 million visitors from around the world. By 1909, he was mass-producing perfume bottles in his factory, which continues to produce crystal tableware, jewelry and perfume bottles.
“René Lalique: Enchanted by Glass” focuses on Lalique’s influential work in the Art Deco style, exploring decades of creativity. He produced jewelry, medallions, bottles, tableware, smoking accessories, lamps, clocks and even automobile mascots, more commonly known as radiator caps or hood ornaments. He embraced industrial innovation and eventually mass-produced luxury glass for the common household.
The exhibition incorporates more than 200 pieces and provides insight into Lalique’s methods of production dating from about 1893 to his death in 1945, and includes one of his patent applications.
“The opportunity to exhibit an extensive collection of works by an important French artist such as Lalique comes along infrequently,” said Diane C. Wright, the Barry curator of glass. “We are thrilled to be able to present this show to the Hampton Roads community and to broaden the public’s understanding of glass production and design coming from France in the Twentieth Century.”
The exhibition originated at the Corning Museum of Glass, which holds the largest collection of Lalique materials at a public institution. It was curated by Kelley Elliott, the assistant curator for modern and contemporary glass. The Chrysler Museum of Art’s presentation will include additional Lalique works from private collectors and the Chrysler’s permanent collection.
The Chrysler Museum of Art is at 1 Memorial Place. For information, www.chrysler.org or 757-664-6200.
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