Pier Glass, an art glass firm in Red Hook, Brooklyn has undertaken the task of creating 16 glass lamps for the new Islamic wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The lamps are meant to recreate the look and feel of traditional Islamic lamps, which are generally ceramic.
Four Years in the Making
The project began over four years ago when the owners of Pier Glass, Kevin Kutch and Mary Ellen Buxton, measured two lamps from the Mamluk Dynasty, an Islamic dynasty which dates back to the mid-13th to the early 16th centuries, in order to recreate the look and feel of the ancient lamp in a more modern style. The lamp is about 14 inches tall, 10 inches wide, and weighs about 6 pounds upon completion.
The modern lamps will add a local feel to the museum’s 15 new Islamic galleries.
Original Lights are ‘Stunning’
“The original mosque lights, these things are absolutely stunning,” said Kutch, who has been blowing glass since 1981. “It’s a precious feeling to know our work is going to be in the museum alongside them.”
It’s awesome,” agreed Buxton, his wife as well as business partner.
“When we saw the first lantern hung in the museum the two of us looked up at it and just started smiling at each other,” Buxton added.
“There are no words to describe seeing all 14 of these hanging in this beautiful room. Both Kevin and I were just like awed.”
The Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, including Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia are scheduled to open on November 1st at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. These 15 new galleries will follow the development and inter-influences of the broad variety of Islamic arts and ideas. For more information go to metmuseum.org.
Pier Glass offers private lessons in the art of blowing glass. No previous experience is required. The one-on-one lesson costs $150. Call 718-237-0273 for reservations and more information.