Alfredo Barbini ITALY, 1912-2007

  • An Italian glass artist and designer born on the island of Murano in the Venetian Lagoon, famous for its glass-making industry. Barbini grew up learning the traditional techniques of glassblowing and apprenticed at the S.A.I.A.R. Ferro Toso factory and Cristallerina Franchetti, and was recognised as a Maestro before he was 20 years old. He worked under famed artist Napoleone Martinuzzi, at his newly formed firm Zecchin & Martinuzzi, and later became a partner and master glass blower at Societa Anonima Vetri Artistici Murano. Following WWII, Barbini designed successively with Martinuzzi and also with Archimede Seguso, another 20th-century master Venetian glassmaker. In 1950, he opened his own furnace, Vetreria Alfredo Barbini, and went on to exhibit work at the Venice Biennales from 1950-61. Barbini experimented throughout his career with glass plasticity, creating delicately coloured organic and biomorphic sculptures. Barbini was awarded the Osella d’Oro by Associazione degli Industriale and was named "1989 Venetian of the Year" by the Settimare Association.