One of the most prominent figures in modern glassware in the early twentieth century is Carlo Scarpa. Carlo Scarpa was born on June 2, 1906 in Venice.[i] Scarpa attended the Reale Academia di Belle Arti (School of Fine Arts) for architectural drawing. He received his diploma in 1926 as a professor of architectural drawing.[ii] Scarpa then became heavily involved in teaching. Carlo Scarpa is also tied to the Venice Biennale and the installations of its exhibits.[iii] The majority of Scarpa’s career was focused on architectural designs. However, he did work in the glass industry for twenty years until the guidance of Paolo Venini at the V.S.M. Venini & Company.
Carlo Scarpa’s involvement in the glass began in 1927. During his time as the director at a Muranese glass factory, he learned about how glass was made and ways to experiment with its design. These experimentations can be attributed to Scarpa’s developing style as a glass designer beginning in 1932. He was later named artistic direction of the Venini factory and held this position until 1946.
The collaboration between Scarpa and Venini, in what has been referred to as the “Grand Decade”, resulted in the creation of the most distinctive modern style in glass.[ix] Together, Scarpa and Venini sought to bring an aesthetic renewal to glassmaking. Venini transformed the traditional style of a Venetian glass firm by hiring young, and innovate designers who wanted to push the boundaries in glassmaking. Scarpa was one such artist who played with elements of design and ornamentation.