Each year the Museum’s patron group, the Ennion Society, chooses an object to acquire using the group’s donations.
Last night at the annual Ennion Society dinner, this year’s acquisition—Marquetry Vase with Water Lilies—was announced.
This acquisition is an important and rare example of Swedish Art Nouveau production—the eariliest example of 20th-century Swedish glass in the Museum’s collection. It was designed by Betzy Ählström (Swedish, 1857–1934), one of the first acknowledged women designers in Europe.
Although women worked in many European glass factories, their jobs generally involved the processing of finished glass rather than its design and production. Ählström was one of the first women in Europe, with Anna Boberg (Swedish, 1864–1935), to be hired as a designer in a glassworks. She only worked at the Reijmyre glassworks for a brief time, from 1901 to 1902, but her design of the marquetry vase with water lilies was one of the Reijmyre products exhibited in 1902 at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs Modernes in Turin, Italy.
Ählström’s designs were were technically quite different than the cased and cameo-cut glass typical of Swedish art nouveau production at the turn of the 20th century, but her use of the marquetrie de verre (glass marquetry) technique, and her choice of the theme of water lilies, executed in an impressionistic, painterly style, was directly influenced by French art glass designer and manufacturer Emile Gallé (French, 1846–1904).
Marquetry Vase with Water Lilies will be displayed in the Museum’s Modern Glass Gallery.
View the full record: https://www.cmog.org/artwork/marquetry-vase-water-lilies