Columns of glass at the V&A

New glass gallery to open early next year

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London

It is a not sufficiently known fact that the Victoria and Albert Museum houses one of the the world’s two most significant collection of glass, equal to that of the Corning Museum of Glass, New York State. The fifty-year-old display area is now to be replaced with a new space of suitably high artistic merit. Designed by Danny Lane with architect Penny Richards, the existing gallery will be divided laterally by installing a glass-floored mezzanine, supported on steel columns. The balustrade and balusters will consist of 140 pillars made of stacks of green, square plates of glass held together under pressure by a steel “spine”. Light is refracted through each column. Of the 6,000 objects in the museum’s collection, 80% will be on show in the new space which is due to open in early 1994. Funding has come from a variety of sources including the Wolfson Foundation and Charitable Trust, the Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London, the British Glass Education Trust and private donations.

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