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Glassmaking in Renaissance Venice [electronic resource] : the fragile craft /
W. Patrick McCray.
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Brookfield, Vt. : Ashgate, c1999.
vi, 240 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
0754600505 (alk. paper)
More Details
Aldershot, Hants, England ; Brookfield, Vt. : Ashgate, c1999.
0754600505 (alk. paper)
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [209]-228) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
W. Patrick McCray is a Research Associate in the Program on Culture, Science, Technology and Society at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-06:
Most students of the Renaissance probably know little more about the history of Venetian glassmaking than what they picked up as tourists; yet most would concede the subject to be important. Makers of glass as early as Giotto signed their work; the business involved important trade connections with the Byzantine and Islamic worlds; glass supported mosaic production. Many college libraries will not own Luigi Zecchin's three-volume opus on the subject, Vetro e vetrai di Murano (1987-90); Paul Hills's more accessible exposition, Venetian Colour: Marble, Mosaic, Painting and Glass, 1250-1550 (CH, Apr'00), provides an excellent, though necessarily abbreviated, introduction. McCray, a historian of technology (Univ. of Arizona, Tucson), places glass production in the context of moderately priced luxury consumerism, not only in Venice. Moreover, he argues that an epochal shift from artisanal to factory schemes of production occurred in glassmaking during the Renaissance, as well as in shipbuilding and printing. The black-and-white photographs underscore the material culture approach; what one learns here about the properties of individual objects has more to do with their chemical composition than their aesthetics. McCray provides a detailed and rich account of an area crucial to Venice's identity. Graduate students and faculty in art history, history, history of technology, and economics. P. Emison; University of New Hampshire
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2000
SciTech Book News, June 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Bowker Data Service Summary
The transformation of the Venetian glass industry during the Renaissance was not only a technical and social phenomenon. McCray examines the demand, production, and distribution of glass amd glassmaking technology during this period.
Long Description
The transformation of the Venetian glass industry during the Renaissance was not only a technical phenomenon, but also a social one. In this volume, Patrick McCray examines the demand, production and distribution of glass and glassmaking technology during this period and evaluates several key topics, including the nature of Renaissance demand for certain luxury goods, the interaction between industry and government in the Renaissance, and technological change as a social process. McCray places in its broader economic and cultural context a craft and industry that has been traditionally viewed primarily through the surviving artefacts held in museum collections.McCray explores the social and economic context of glassmaking in Venice, from the guild and state level down to the workings of the individual glass house. He tracks the dissemination of Venetian-style glassmaking throughout Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and its effects on Venice's glass industry. Integrating evidence from a wide variety of sources - written documents such as shop records and recipe books, pictorial representations of glass and glassmaking, and the careful physical and chemical analysis of glass pieces that have survived to the present - he examines the relation between consumer demand and technological change. In the process, he traces the organizational changes that signified a transition from an older and more traditional manner of 'artisan' manufacture to a modern, 'factory-style' manner of production.
Unpaid Annotation
A researcher in the interplay of culture, science, technology, and society, McCray (U. of Arizona-Tucson) shows how the transformation of the Venetian glass industry during the period was social as well as technological. He examines the demand, production, and distribution of both glass and glassmaking technology and explores such topics as the nature of Renaissance demand for certain luxury goods, the interaction between industry and government, and technological change as a social process. The scale of his study ranges from guild and state to the workings of individual glass houses.
Table of Contents
Illustrationsp. vii
Tablesp. viii
Prefacep. ix
Mapsp. x
Introductionp. 1
Glass, Ceramics, and Societyp. 1
The Nature and Limitations of Available Sources of Informationp. 3
Technological Change and the Role of Consumer Demandp. 8
The Plan of this Bookp. 13
"Masters of the Gold of Christendom": Renaissance Venice, the World Economy, and Luxury Goodsp. 15
Introductionp. 15
Venice in the Renaissance World Economyp. 16
Artisans, Guilds, and the Venetian Statep. 22
The Economic Geography of Venice and Muranop. 25
Capitalism, Consumerism, and Conspicuous Consumptionp. 26
Luxury Goods in the Renaissance Culture and Economyp. 29
A Note on the Venetian Monetary Systemp. 32
Master Aldrevandin's World: Glassmaking in Pre-Renaissance Venicep. 33
Introductionp. 33
Glassmaking in the Pastp. 34
Early Glassmaking Traditions in the Venetop. 38
Glassmaking in Medieval Venicep. 41
The Glassmakers of Medieval Venice and their Productsp. 49
The Technology of Glass Production in Pre-Renaissance Venicep. 53
Questions of Origins and Influencep. 57
The Renaissance Venetian Glass Industry -- a Self-Catalysed Phenomenonp. 61
Demystifying the Demand for Renaissance Glassp. 66
Introductionp. 66
Why Glass?p. 67
The Functions of Renaissance Glassp. 74
Desire Defined: Two Favoured Qualities of Renaissance Venetian Glassp. 86
Conclusionp. 94
Desire Fulfilled: The Technology of Glassmaking in Renaissance Venicep. 96
The Introduction and Innovation of New Luxury Glassesp. 97
Luxury Glassmaking Technology in Renaissance Venicep. 100
The Final Productp. 114
The Social Organization of Venetian Glassmakingp. 126
Venetian Glassmaking and the Renaissance Economyp. 132
Venetian Glassmaking in Context: Some Concluding Remarksp. 136
Consumers and Competitors: The Distribution of Glass and Glassmaking Knowledgep. 141
Introductionp. 141
The Distribution of Glassp. 142
Technology Transfer and Renaissance Glassmakingp. 149
Epilogue: The Innovations of Renaissance Venetian Glassp. 164
Notesp. 172
Bibliographyp. 209
Indexp. 229
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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