Vases, Jars, and Candlestick Holders
The United States alone spawned more than 75 manufacturers, including Blenko Glass Company, the Fenton Art Glass Company, Pilgrim, Rainbow, Bischoff & Sons, and Viking Art Glass. And much of the glass made in Europe during this time landed in the United States. "The dollar was much stronger than it was before the war, and European manufacturers, facing a devastated economy, exported loads of mass-produced colored glass to the States to sell in department stores," Karch says.
America's newly flush middle class also began to travel overseas by cruise ships, which ferried passengers to the Continent's venerable glass factories. Near Venice, on the island of Murano, where the city's glassmaking companies had moved in the 13th century, tourists stocked up on distinctive pieces from companies such as Venini, Seguso Vetri d' Arte, Barbini, and Bitossi. In the Scandinavian countries, Orrefors, Iittala, Kosta, Holmegaard, and Riihimaki turned out diverse styles in the Pop Art vernacular that defined the period.
The colors in this sea of glassware were created using minerals. Cobalt, which has been found in ancient Egyptian colored glass, produced the rich blues. Chromium, which comes from the ore chromite, was responsible for the green hues. The shapes of these pieces are in some cases exaggerated versions of neoclassical designs. The two green-cased glass pieces, first and second from left, exemplify the Italian flair for the baroque. In contrast, Scandinavians tended to create more refined, minimalist pieces, including the blue and greenish-blue vases.