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Glass, Handle with Care!
Fragile Art 700-2010

10.09.2010 to 13.02.2011


The fascination of glass lies in its transparency, colours and diversity of forms, its radiance, fragility, sharpness and durability. Glass craftsmen in the Ancient Near East (now Middle East) have played a leading role in shaping these inherent material properties ever since glass was invented there more than 4000 years ago. After the Arab conquest in the 7th century, the Arabs preserved the traditional techniques of production and decoration, but also made significant contributions to the craft through innovations in design and technique of their own.

'Glass, Handle with Care!' takes a closer look at these traditions and innovations of the glass craftsmen and artists of the Middle East. The exhibition exposes the diverse design possibilities of glass in terms of form, colour and decoration and the production techniques that lie behind them. For the first time ever, over 60 glass items from the Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum for Islamic Art) own collection are placed on display alongside contemporary works from the Gallery of New Glass Art & Photography.

Besides the obvious visual appeal of glass from the Middle East, 'Glass, Handle with Care!' also reveals the history of its appreciation up to the present day. Biographies of selected glass items on display from the museum's collection give visitors an insight into how each one was individually produced, its original use, its restoration and how the objects came to be on display in the exhibition today. Meanwhile, contemporary glass artists, who either come from the Middle East itself or have continued its artistic traditions elsewhere, pay tribute to glass craftsmanship by newly interpreting traditional production techniques and glass's traditional language of forms.

A finissage will take place on 10 February. On this occasion the Turkish glass artist Felekşan Onar will give a lecture on her works. The following reception will be accompanied by music of Stefan Lischewski.

The exhibition falls under the auspices of the German UNESCO Commission.

Kindly supported by:

The Barakat Trust

Glashütte Lamberts

TOTAL Deutschland GmbH

Freunde des Museums für Islamische Kunst im Pergamonmuseum e.V.

Weingut Theo Schütte

Cam Ocağı

Joe:Media Group