A Glassy Society: Glassmaking in 17th and 18th Century Britain

  • Online event
  • Wednesday, 30 March 2022
  • Lecture by Dr Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth, starting at 6pm. Programmed alongside the exhibition A State of Matter.

In this lecture Dr Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth will explore the dynamic shifts in the design and production of glass in the 17th and 18th Centuries as Britain slowly replaced Venice as the global leader in glassmaking.

Glass played a significant role in elite lives, from social occasions and grand dinners to interiors filled with mirror glass, to the growing use of scientific equipment in the Age of Enlightenment. We will cover a range of glassmaking techniques, from glassblowing to diamond-point engraving, and will also consider the role played by the makers, markets and consumers of these sparkling wares.

About the speaker

Dr Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth is an art and design historian specialising in decorative arts, material culture and the history of collecting. She is Curator of 17th- and 18th-Century Ceramics and Glass in the Decorative Art and Sculpture Department at the V&A Museum and Lecturer in the History of Design MA, with the V&A and Royal College of Art. McCaffrey-Howarth gained her PhD at the University of Leeds in 2019, where she is now also a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies.

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