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Glass@VillaAlba: Contemporary glass exhibition casts a new light on treasured heritage interiors

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Artwork by Miles Johnson

Visitors have the rare and exciting opportunity to be inspired by contemporary glass design blended with the elegance of the original decoration of the Victorian-era Villa Alba mansion in Kew.

Glass@VillaAlba is an exhibition of contemporary glass created by artists commenting on, or reacting to, the ornate interiors, architecture and gardens of Villa Alba. Works on display are by emerging and established glass artists showcasing traditional as well as innovative techniques and practices in glass making.

Artwork by Kirsten Laken

Glass artists from across Victoria were invited to visit Villa Alba and were inspired to create works that continue the tradition of the artistry and hand-made craftsmanship so beautifully reflected in the original interiors of the mansions executed by the Melbourne decorating firm, the Paterson Brothers. As one of Melbourne's most prominent art decorators in the nineteenth century, the Paterson Brothers sought to combine applied art decorative practices with fine art techniques.

Artwork by Ruth Allen

"The clear contemporary lines and colours of the glass on display generate a fresh view of this elegant house, shining a light on modern design within its eclectic, time-worn, and beautiful interiors. As a journey through contemporary glass set amidst a historical framework, the exhibition presents an experience that is bold, fascinating, and sensitive at the same time." - Fiona Moore, Co-curator

Glass@VillaAlba is presented by GLAAS Inc in collaboration with Villa Alba Museum and is among the many events organised as part of the International Year of Glass.

Artwork by Anne Sorensen

As lead organisation for Region 16: SE Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne-based arts organisation GLAAS Inc leads international efforts to raise awareness of the importance of glass in our lives, particularly in art and architecture.

The public program includes a Curators' Tour (Sat 8 October, 2pm) and a Lecture by Dr Bronwyn Hughes OAM on decorative glass in domestic Australian settings 1880s to 1960s (Sun 16 October, 1pm).

Exhibition entry fee: $15, Tertiary Students $10

Curators' Tour: Exhibition entry fee applies

Lecture: $20, Tertiary Students $15

No charge for people under 18 years

For bookings and details of the full exhibition program, visit

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When: 7-23 October 2022, Friday to Sunday, 11am to 4pm
Where: Villa Alba Museum 44 Walmer Street Kew, VIC 3101
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