Massimo Vignelli explains his 1972 New York Subway map and the controversy it caused
Links (external links open in a new window)
Massimo Vignelli on Wikipedia
The Subway and the City: Massimo Vignelli, article on the MoMa website
Massimo Vignelli at the MoMa museum in New York
History of the Venini company
Glass blowing on Murano – Wikipedia
Glass Museum on the Murano Island
Glassblowing on Wikipedia
Vittorio Zecchin on Wikipedia (Italian)
Murrine technique on Wikipedia
Venini Striped Trumpet Pendant Lamp
Materials: Hand blown crystal Murano glass. Clear and purple/egg plant coloured striped glass with a golden rim. Steel wire, brass parts. Bakelite socket.
Steel Wire: 80 cm / 31.49’’
Height: 60 cm / 23.62”
Width: ∅ 50 cm / 19.68”
Electricity: 1 bulb E27, 1 x 60 watt maximum, 110/220 volt.
Any type of light bulb can be used. Not a specific one preferred.
Period: 1960s – Mid-Century Modern.
Designer: Massimo Vignelli (1931-2014) – attributed.
Manufacturer: Venini, Murano, Italy – attributed.
Other versions: Minimal variations in size.
This spectacular hand blown pendant lamp was probably designed by Massimo Vignelli. He designed many striped lamps for Venini.
Another artist who is famous for his striped hand blown glass designs is Lino Tagliapietra. He designed several striking striped lamps for La Murrina, also from the Murano island. Several of his lamps are made in the same colours as this one…
Born in Milan, Italy, Massimo Vignelli was one of the greatest graphic designers of the 20th century. His most famous and controversial design was his 1972 subway map of New York which replaced geographical accuracy with geometric clarity.
Massimo Vignelli: “If you can design one thing, you can design everything”.
Paolo Venini (1895-1959), a Milanese lawyer, and Giacomo Cappellin (1887-1968), a Venetian antique dealer, founded Cappellin Venini & Co in 1921. Painter Vittorio Zecchin (1887-1948) became the artistic director. After a few years the company was split in two and the company Vetri Soffiati Muranesi Venini & Co was founded. Napoleone Martinuzzi became the new artistic director. Martinuzzi brought innovation with the “pulegoso” glass. It is characterized by thousands of air bubbles. Carlo Scarpa and Paolo Venini presented some other new techniques, such as Battuti (Battuto), Granulari, Murrine and Tessuti.
Designers that worked for Venini are: Carlo Scarpa, Gio Ponti, Eugene Barman, Ken Scott, Banfi, Belgiojoso, Peressuti and Rogers, Fulvio Bianconi, Tobia Scarpa (son of Carlo. Toni Zuccheri, Tapio Wirkkala, Owe Thorssen, Brigitta Karlsson, Tina Aufiero, Gae Aulenti, Ettore Sottssass. Mario Bellini, Timo Sarpaneva, Fulvio Bianconi, Elena Cutolo, Giorgio Vigna. Emmanuel Babled, Rodolfo Dordoni, Monica Guggisberg, Alessandro Mendini, Philip Baldwin and many others.
Venini is one of the most outstanding art glass companies on the Venetian island of Murano. None of these lamps are identical and are all handmade/blown.
The company still exists and they make the most beautiful glass art. Off course they have a distinguished shop on the San Marco Square (Piazza San Marco) in Venice.
Lino Tagliapietra was born August 10, 1934 in Murano, Italy and has also worked extensively in the United States. As a teacher and mentor, he has played a key role in the international exchange of glass blowing processes and techniques between the principal American centers and his native Murano, but his influence is apparent in the whole world. Lino is master in this striped technique.
“I don’t invent anything new; I personalize something … and that makes it something that nobody has done before.”
La Murrina was founded in the 1960s as a small business started by a group of glass-worker masters. In 1974, La Murrina was bought by a family from Milan. Today they are located at Via Isonzo, 26, 22078 Turate (Co), Italy. The furnace is still on the Murano island and located at Riva Longa, 17 – Murano Venice, Italy.
Lino Tagliapietra at work
Many thanks to Frank from Flowermountain.be for the photos and the enthusiasm.