Category: Curious and Curiouser

Watch with your own eyes as our talented flame…

Watch with your own eyes as our talented flameworkers show you the process behind creating stunningly realistic looking glass eyes at 2:45pm daily. Then take a walk to the Rakow Research Library to see Curious and Curiouser and discover more curiosities in glass.

The efforts of alchemists to imitate rare ma…

The efforts of alchemists to imitate rare materials in glass led to the development of gold ruby, a glass colored red by the interaction of light with very small particles of gold suspended within the glass. Gold ruby glasses were highly prized; when the stem and foot of this goblet were damaged, they were replaced with a turned wooden foot rather than throwing away the goblet. Explore the rare books that detail the alchemists’ original experiments in gold ruby glass for yourself in “Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds at the Rakow Library.” 

Gold-ruby Goblet, probably engraved by Gottfried Spiller, Potsdam, Brandenburg (Germany), about 1690-1700. Gift of The Ruth Bryan Strauss Memorial Foundation. 79.3.258.

This woodcut depicting a glass furnace is from…

This woodcut depicting a glass furnace is from Georg Agricola’s De re metallica, one of the first technological books that looked at industries like mining and glassmaking. Accounts like this form a large part of our understanding of glassmaking throughout history. Learn more about historical glassmaking in “Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds from the Rakow Library.” 

Berckwerck Buch / De re metallica, Georg Agricola, 1580. CMGL 66820.

Arthur and Leslie Nash, the father-and-son t…

Arthur and Leslie Nash, the father-and-son team behind many of Louis C. Tiffany’s innovations in glass formulas, wrote their formulas in code in notebooks now held by the Rakow Library. See if you can crack the code in “Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds from the Rakow Library.” 

1893-1906, Arthur J. Nash, to Leslie, Arthur J. Nash (1849-1934) and Leslie Hayden Nash (1884-1958), [1893-1925]. Arthur J. Nash and Leslie H. Nash collection on Tiffany Studios. CMGL 146009.

Josh Simpson is inspired by the successes an…

Josh Simpson is inspired by the successes and failures of Arthur and Leslie Nash as they created and documented new batches of colored glass for Louis C. Tiffany. Simpson created his own batches through a series of experiments and used them to create this goblet. How does the Rakow Library inspire you? Share with us using #RakowInspired. 

Tektite Meteorite Goblet
Josh Simpson, Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, United States, 1992. 2010.4.21.

This 18th-century print of a glazier (someon…

This 18th-century print of a glazier (someone who makes glass for windows) redefines “glass wear”! See more of these delightful prints of glassmakers in “Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds from the Rakow Library.” 

[Glazier costume], Nicolas Bonnart, about 1700, CMGL 149989.

Glass artist Paul Stankard uses botanical il…

Glass artist Paul Stankard uses botanical illustrations to create his detailed paperweights. Stankard donated his collection of illustrations to The Rakow Library to enable those studying his work to understand his design process and source of artistic creativity. See these glass paperweights and their illustration counterparts on view at the Rakow Library in “Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds from the Rakow Library.” 

Study of Yellow Lady’s Slipper Botanical C45, Paul Stankard, Mantua, New Jersey, United States, 1987. Gift of the Ben W. Heineman Sr. Family. 2006.4.91.

We’re celebrating National Library Week at the…

We’re celebrating National Library Week at the Rakow Library with this delightful Alice in Wonderland sketch found in the Frederick Carder papers. What other surprising finds will you uncover at the Rakow Library? See “Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds from the Rakow Library,” on view at the Rakow Library. 

The rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat pocket, [possibly drawn by Frederick Carder], Frederick Carder papers. CMGL 165034.

Glass eye manufacturers in the 1800s offered…

Glass eye manufacturers in the 1800s offered eyes in every shape, size, and color a customer could desire. Buyer beware though: glass eyes purchased from Professors J.T. & A.H. Davis could not be exchanged after six weeks. See other curious materials relating to glass eyes in “Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds from the Rakow Library,” on view at the Rakow Library. 

[Billhead dated March 1894 for ingredients for glass eyes], Profs. J. T. & A. H. Davis, 1894. CMGL 141444.

How does the Rakow Library inspire you? Alexan…

How does the Rakow Library inspire you? Alexandra Ruggiero, assistant curator at the Museum says,”In advance of our Museum’s exhibition “Fragile Legacy,” I spent countless hours carefully sorting through the more than 400 drawings of marine invertebrates by Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolf. The Blaschkas’ glass models brought underwater creatures to life for study and display, but their drawings are works of art in their own right. It wasn’t hard to be inspired by the Blaschkas’ careful studies of marine invertebrate form or the way father and son skillfully captured subtle variations of colors, delicate tendrils, and gentle curves of tentacles conveying movement.” Share your inspirations with us using #RakowInspired

Tealia pluoia, no. 114; Evactis artemisia, no. 61: No. 112, Leopold Blaschka and Rudolf Blaschka, Dresden, Germany, probably 1863–1890. CMGL 121324.