“Glass of the Architects: Vienna, 1900-1937,” Corning Museum of Glass

Corning, NY

The exhibition, Glass of the Architects: Vienna, 1900-1937, at the Corning Museum of Glass explores the notion of architect as designer and showcases a series of captivating Austrian glass from 1900 to 1937. The objects, both decorative and functional in use, are all designed by architects and embody a newfound spirit of modernity of early to mid-20th century Austrian design. In addition to 172 glass works, the exhibition includes the re-installation of architect Josef Hoffmann’s Dressing Room for a Star – Boudoir d’une Grande Vedette – which was originally designed for the 1937 Paris International Exposition.

Selldorf Architects designed this 2,000 sf exhibition which navigates and underscores the theme of architects designing decorative objects through presenting a clarity of display and circulation. The show centers around the mirrored “Boudoir”, beginning with offering a glimpse of the room at the beginning of the show to eventually fully reveal it as visitors continue to explore the exhibition.

Selldorf-designed wall-inset and freestanding vitrines display the delicate glass works along with their original sketches. The black-lacquered frames mute the noise around the art objects, placing them in full focus. The exhibition allows a diverse viewing experience from displays of objects as singular artworks to situating them within intimate and even domestic spatial settings, thus celebrating Austria’s architects who seamlessly weaved their spatial practices with their attentiveness to detail and quality of craft.

(Photography credits: Kimberly Thompson. The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York)