Ted Muehling Expounds

Ted hosted a group of Cooper-Hewitt members at his studio and store in SoHo this week, as you can see from the Monday at Muehling’s post, giving them a peek at his wonderfully creative environment full of glass, emotive sculpture and creatures from the natural world. He is also the guest curator for Ted Muehling Selects: Lobmeyr Glass from the Permanent Collection, an exhibition of designs chosen from the museum’s recent acquisition of 163 rare examples of glass from J. & L. Lobmeyr of Vienna, Austria. The exhibition is in the Nancy and Edwin Marks Collection Gallery, a room whose architecture embraces work of such delicacy and elegance. This will make a gentle counterpoint to the Triennial show that will open on May 14th.

Dish by Ludwig Lobmeyr & Georg Rehlender, ca. 1877-87

The examples from Lobmeyr range from incredibly graceful forms and decorations to quite robust artifacts, but all are beautiful. The presentation is enhanced by drawings of the original designs, in themselves excellent works of art. Sarah Coffin, our Curator of Product Design and Decorative Arts, worked with Ted to present the designs and drawings in harmony, using translucent surfaces and delicate line drawings as well as the originals.

Brooch with hummingbird head, ca. 1870

There are also a few examples of Ted’s own designs, displayed next to a huge book from the National Design Library, open at a page showing an exquisite illustration of butterflies. The book was created in 1730 by Maria Sibylla Merian from Amsterdam. Ted explains that, “She combined science and art in her beautifully rendered observations of the relationship between exotic flora and fauna.” Ted also chose a hummingbird brooch, American circa 1870, which sits tiny and glowing next to the book – I find it mesmerizing!

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