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A concise history of glassmaking around the world, from Mesopotamia to the present day
Illustrated with 120 superb pieces, Glass: A Short History brings to life a centuries-old craft that has served many purposes, styles, and cultures. Until the first century BC, glass was made only in Western Asia, Egypt, and the Mediterranean region; its manufacture then spread to China and other areas. The peoples of the Roman Empire included the most versatile glassmakers in the ancient world, creating widely available low-cost glassware and stunning luxury glass. During the Middle Ages, Islamic glassworkers decorated their fine cut glass with gilding and brilliant enamel. In the fifteenth century, the focus of luxury glassmaking shifted to Venice. Glassmaking in Europe was transformed again in the seventeenth century, when thick-walled, cut and engraved objects were in great demand.
By the nineteenth century, glassmaking was well established in America, where, as in Europe, industrial processes supplied the rapidly expanding population with glassware for daily use. Within the past fifty years glass has gained acceptance as a medium for artistic expression, and the Studio Glass Movement, born in the United States, has inspired artists all over the world. Glass tells this sweeping story from ancient times to the present in an accessible text with gorgeous examples.