Museo del Vetro

Glass Museum

SEGUSO: Art Glass: 1932/1973

Artistica Soffiera Seguso

1929-32: due to the dimmishing activity of the “Vetreria Artistica Barovier & C.” several of its master blowers work at various furnaces producing for the same client, the retail company of Salviati.

1932: premature contractual dissolution of “Vetreria Artistica Barovier & C.” after a trial. Informal cooperation in a furnace on Via Beroviero on Murano including Antonio Seguso with his sons Archimede and Ernesto, Napoleone Barovier and Luigi “Olimpio” Ferro.

1933: official foundation of the “Artistica Soffiera Vetreria-Barovier Seguso Ferro” by Antonio Seguso with his sons Archimede and Ernesto, Napoleone Barovier and Luigi “Olimpio” Ferro. Seat remains at Via Beroviero, Murano.

1934: Flavio Poli enters the company. Diploma di Gran Premio at World Fair Brussels, Belgium and Gold Medal and Cross of Merits at the “Mostra Campionaria Artigianato” in Firenze, Italy. Relocation to the Ponte Vivarini 138, Murano. Furnaces build under guidance of the engineer Francesco Zecchin, at the time partner of Napoleone Martinuzzi in the “Zecchin-Martinuzzi Vetri Artistici e Mosaici”.

1936: collaborating with “Veronese” Paris, France. Executing designs by French decorators such as Jean-Gabriel Domergue, André Carlhian, Jean Pascaud and Paul Fréchet. Francesco Zecchin ceases activity on Fond. Andrea Navagero. His production is transferred to Ponte Vivarini while still employing his own master blowers (Francesco Martinuzzi, Italo “Otello” Nason and Alfredo Barbini). Participation at the VI Triennale (Diploma d’Onore) with “Laguna oro”, “Grigio oro”, “Pesco oro” and “Autunno oro”, a technique developed by Flavio Poli and Alfredo Barbini. Initiating architectural lighting projects, one of the first being the “Grand Hotel Savoy” in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

1937: decision to decuple the capital. Luigi “Olimpio” Ferro withdraws, and Flavio Poli takes his place as a partner. Denomination changes to “Seguso Vetri D’Arte”. A parallel company, the Barovier Seguso & C. remains owner of the premises. Until 1971, Seguso Vetri D’Arte pays them a three-monthly rent. Participation in the Parisian World Fair, obtaining a “Grand Prix” for “a bollicine mettaliche”.

1938: Francesco Zecchin liquidates the “Ing.Francesco Zecchin-Vetri Artistici e Mosaici” to become an official partner in “Seguso Vetri D’Arte”. His contribution consists of his total machinery inventory and his modelbooks.

1939-42: reduced production, concentrating on architectural lighting projects, such as “Cinema Astra” Milan (1940-41), “Cinema Smeralda” Milan (1940), “Cinema Centrale” Venice (1940) and the seat of the “Istituto Nazionale Fascista della Previdenza Sociale” in Pescara (1941).

1944: official withdrawal of Archimede Seguso who sells his entire share (at the time worth 55.000 Lire) to his brother Ernesto.

1945: In order to raise new capital, master blowers are offered partnership (Francesco Martinuzzi, Guido Seguso and Giusto Nichetto). Antonio with Ernesto Seguso, Napoleone Barovier and Flavio Poli create a new company, the “Seguso Barovier e C.” in order to conduct industrial and civil real estate.

1946: additional partners are attracted amongst which Plinio Pustetto, Angelo Seguso and Umberto D’Este, all of which master blowers. Opening of a showroom on Piazza Diaz in Milan.

1947: the company starts an industrial (pressed and moulded) production such as door knops, ashtrays and small boxes) under the denomination of “Cristalli Vivarini”.

1948: Seguso Vetri D’Arte exports to the US (Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Indianapolis, San Francisco, Berkeley, Washington, Jersey City, Cleveland and Pittsburg), to South America (Argentina, Cuba,Venezuela, Panama, San Salvador), Australia (Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide), to the middle-East (Egypt, Libanon), to Canada, to South Africa and to France, Belgium, United Kingdom, Switserland, Greece, Denmark.

1949: unanimous decision to liquidate “Seguso Vetri D’Arte”. Francesco Martinuzzi and Guido Seguso withdraw. A new company is created, the “Società Seguso Vetri s.r.l.” with Ernesto, Isidoro, Angelo  and Bruno Seguso, Flavio Poli, Napoleone Barovier, Plinio Pustetto and Giusto Nichetto as partners. In November denomination changes to “Seguso s.r.l.”.

1951: “Cristalli Vivarini” ceases production.

1952: acquisitions by the “Landesgewerbemuseum” Stuttgart, Germany (a.o.models 8453-8590-8832 and 8835) and the “Victoria and Albert museum” London, United Kingdom (models 7780-7783-8332). A new shop is opened at the Corso Vittorio Emmanuele in Milan.

1953: Mario Pinzoni enters the company as Flavio Poli’s collaborator.

1954: the Norwegian museum of applied arts in Trondheim acquires model 6954. Seguso –as most other factories on Murano- adapts its furnaces to the use of methane gas instead of cokes. Compasso d’Oro for model 9822 in rosso/blu at the X Triennale di Milano. The “Gemeentemuseum” in La Hague, The Netherlands acquires models 6976-9474-9485, all in verde/ametista. The Italian government offers 4 objects in rosso/blu (models 9812-9816-9818-9819) to the city of Sao Paolo (Bresil) at the occasion of its 400st birthday.

1955: closure of the shop at Corso Vittorio Emmanuele. The “Neue Sammlung” museum in Munich Germany acquires two rosso/blu objects (models 9826-9827). Isidoro Seguso withdraws as a partner. The “Victoria and Albert museum” in London (U.K.) acquires models 9406 and 9570 in verde/giallo. Walter Siebers obtains an exclusivity contract for West Germany.

1956: the “Gewerbemuseum” in Winterthur Switserland acquires models 9816 and 9822 in rosso/blu.

1957: the “Royal Ontario Museum” in Toronto Canada acquires models 6956 (valva grigio/rosa) and 6970 (conchiglia grigio/rosa). Napoleone Barovier dies, his shares pass to his children Guido, Emma, Teresa and Emilio.

1958: the “Museum of Modern Art” in New York USA acquires model 11902 (verde/violetto/filo blu). The King of Norway acquires –through Marcel Barbier- chandelier model 998. Participation in the “Expo ‘58” World Fair in Brussels Belgium.

1959: “Seguso s.r.l.” changes denomination to “Seguso Vetri D’Arte di Ernesto Seguso, Flavio Poli & C. – s.a.s.” the contract ending in 1965.

1960: creation of the “Alfa Romeo” bowl. Guido, Emilio, Teresa and Emma Barovier sell their shares to Bruno, Isidoro and Angelo Seguso.

1963: Flavio Poli leaves the company, and is replaced by Mario Pinzoni. His shares are bought by Angela Seguso, the twin sister of Angelo. Also Ernesto Seguso withdraws as a partner, his shares are acquired by Bruno and Angelo Seguso. The company changes name to “Seguso Vetri D’Arte di Angelo e Bruno Seguso & C.-s.a.s.”.

1964: Antonio Seguso retires.

1966: Ernesto Seguso leaves the company. His brother Angelo becomes head.

1967: Angela Seguso sells her shares to Bruno and Angelo Seguso. The company is now owned by Angelo and Bruno Seguso with Giusto Nichetto.

1969: Bruno Seguso withdraws, his shares are bought by Angelo Seguso. The company is owned by Angelo and Giusto Nichetto, and re-named “Seguso Vetri D’Arte di Angelo Seguso & C.-s.a.s.”.

1970: the parallel company “Seguso Barovier & C.” is liquidated.

1971: Mario Pinzoni withdraws and is replaced by Vittorio Rigattieri.

1973: company is partly taken over by Maurizio Albarelli. The “Seguso Vetri D’Arte-s.a.s.” is liquidated.