The fascinating stories of beautiful glassworks in East Anglia are going to be told in a new series of events to raise funds the Stained Glass Museum in Ely. Experts from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich, The Higgins Bedford and the Stained Glass Museum are giving their time for free for the four fundraising events at the Fitzwilliam, from 18 September to 9 October.
Taken together, the variety and quality of these glass collections are as splendid as any of the great national collections such as the V&A. It is hoped the events will encourage the public to visit some of the stunning glass collections on their doorstep, here in East Anglia.
Each Thursday in the series the Fitzwilliam will hold a talk about the history of glass in the region with the opportunity to view some rare and delicate objects up close on two of the sessions.
Vicky Avery, Keeper of Applied Arts at the Fitzwilliam commented: "Although glass is made from inexpensive raw materials like sand, it has been highly prized by owners and collectors for hundreds of years on account of its beauty, translucency, finesse and fragility. How can one fail to marvel at the incredible skills of the master glassmaker who converts a blob of molten glass into an exquisitely refined goblet, a beautiful stained glass panel or a provocative piece of contemporary art? East Anglia is crammed full of virtuoso masterpieces in glass - from ancient China through Renaissance Venice to contemporary London - but despite being on public display in museums, these awe-inspiring creations are little known or appreciated. This series of talks by local specialists focuses on the stunning glass collections in four key East Anglian museums and aims to give expert insights and answers to such questions as: how and why were these glassworks made? Who were they made for? How were they used, displayed, personalised and valued? How did they end up in the collections where they are now?"
Radiance and Reflection: Glass collections in East Anglia is on Thursdays at 14.00 on 18 September, 25 September, 2 October and 9 October. For full information of all the talks visit www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk . Tickets are £6 per talk (£5 concessions), £20 for the whole series. All proceeds will be donated to the Stained Glass Museum, Ely. To register your interest please contact 01223 332904 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.