Venini Company

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The Venini Company, established in Venice by Paolo Venini (1895–1959) in 1921 and incorporated in 1924, soon became one of Italy's leading glass manufacturers through its employment of modern designers keen to explore the aesthetic potential of the material. Paolo had given up a legal career to purchase the Murano glassworks owned by Giacomo Cappelani. Even by the time of the 1923 Monza Biennale (see Milan Triennale) the new company began to attract favourable critical attention, consolidated further by the award of a Grand Prix at the Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels, 1925. Early collaborators with Venini included Gio Ponti and Carlo Scarpa. The latter became artistic director in 1932, combining aspects of traditional glassmaking with a modern vision in his Tessuti vases. After the Second World War the factory remained a leader in the field, despite the death of Paolo Venini in 1959. Massimo Vignelli, then an architecture student at the University of Venice, began designing for the company from 1953, producing a series of hanging and table lamps (such as the Fungo, 1955). Amongst Ponti's post‐war designs the Morandiane series of bottles (1956). Tobia Scarpa began working for the company in the late 1950s, American studio glass artist Dale Chihuly and Tapio Wirkkala in the 1960s, and Gae Aulenti in the 1990s. In 1997 the Venini company was acquired by Royal Copenhagen Ltd., along with Swedish glass manufacturer Orrefors Kosta Boda and became part of Royal Scandinavia Ltd.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.

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