Email Us – or – CALL (757) 664-6200

Italian Glass Master Gianni Toso Coming to Norfolk

To Be A Visiting Guest Artist at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio

NORFOLK, Va. – (July 2013) – The Chrysler Museum Glass Studio is pleased to showcase Maestro Gianni Toso August 15, 16 and 18 as part of the Visiting Artist Series. He will work live in the Glass Studio on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 2:30 to 5 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Toso will talk with the audience and answer questions at 4 p.m. Sunday.  Admission is free.

Toso comes from a family with a seven-century tradition in Murano glassblowing. He was accepted into the local fine arts academy for glassblowers at age 14, and in 1967, at the age of 24, opened a studio in Venice. Toso is considered one of the world's great artists working in lampworked glass.

"All my life, hot glass has been a language for me,” said Toso. “To me, each shape I created was a word. The entirety of the shapes I create is my vocabulary. I was guided in how I created each work by a discipline I constructed; it is my grammar. Obviously, the language I created has a Venetian accent."

Toso is the creator of one of the most popular glass artworks in the Chrysler Museum’s collection—a witty chess set with Jewish figures as the black pieces and Catholics as the white. His chess sets are prized by museums and collectors worldwide, and play on the Italian theatrical tradition of Commedia dell’Arte, as well as his own Jewish heritage.

Toso downplays interpretation of his best-known works as philosophical commentaries. Chess, he reminds, “is just a game.” Toso says he plans to create new chessmen or lampworked glass pieces for his audiences at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio in August.

The Chrysler Museum Glass Studio is located directly across the street from the Chrysler Museum at 745 Duke Street in Norfolk. The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums with a world-class collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America, The Glass Studio, which opened in November 2011, brings the collection to life through innovative performance and educational programs. The Glass Studio offers free glassmaking demonstrations, classes, and workshops for students and adults. The state-of-the-art facility accommodates both aspiring and master glass artists with fully equipped facilities for a range of glassmaking processes. For more information, events and programming, visit or call (757) 664-6200.


Contact Cindy Mackey
(757) 754-4553

Download Press Release