Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Glass, Room 131

Panel

1933-1938 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Early 20th century Paris was gripped by a passion for all things ‘African’ and celebrated aspects of Black culture through music, art and design. This interest in the exotic contributed to the development of the design style known as Art Deco. Art Deco artists and designers were also influenced by the African objects which had begun to appear in European homes and exhibitions. They attempted to replicate aspects of African design through using bold colour palettes and strong abstract or geometric patterns.

The Art Deco style was picked up by artists and designers in Britain where this sand-blasted glass panel was produced. In its bold design of a silhouetted African woman in profile, alongside a simplified strand of foliage, the panel typifies many of the features associated with Art Deco. Modern manufacturing techniques, such as those pioneered by Pilkington Glass, the maker of this piece, made the design style accessible to a broader range of people.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Sand-blasted glass
Brief Description
Panel, sand-blasted black glass, Britain (St Helens), designed by Sigmund Pollitzer, at Pilkington Ltd, 1933-38
Physical Description
Sand-blasted black glass plaque featuring bold design of a silhouetted African woman in profile, alongside a simplified strand of foliage.
Dimensions
  • Maximum height: 35.8cm
  • Width: 25.5cm
Style
Gallery Label
Sigmund Pollitzer (1913-82) was chief designer at Pilkington 1933-38. A painter and writer as well as a designer of decorative glass for architectural and domestic interiors. It is not known if this panel was made for a particular scheme or simply speculatively.
Credit line
Bequeathed by C.J. Corbett Palmer
Object history
Sigmund Pollitzer designed sand-blasted decorative glass panels for the 'Glass Age Train' in 1937. Earlier, Pilkington exhibited black glass panels (black vitrolite) at the 'British Art in Industry' exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1935.



Bequest C. J. Corbett Palmer 26.09.1991
Summary
Early 20th century Paris was gripped by a passion for all things ‘African’ and celebrated aspects of Black culture through music, art and design. This interest in the exotic contributed to the development of the design style known as Art Deco. Art Deco artists and designers were also influenced by the African objects which had begun to appear in European homes and exhibitions. They attempted to replicate aspects of African design through using bold colour palettes and strong abstract or geometric patterns.



The Art Deco style was picked up by artists and designers in Britain where this sand-blasted glass panel was produced. In its bold design of a silhouetted African woman in profile, alongside a simplified strand of foliage, the panel typifies many of the features associated with Art Deco. Modern manufacturing techniques, such as those pioneered by Pilkington Glass, the maker of this piece, made the design style accessible to a broader range of people.
Bibliographic References
  • V&A.M/Arts Council: Thirties cat 4.143
  • Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain. London, 2018. ISBN 978095706280p.64
Other Number
9541 - Glass gallery number
Collection
Accession Number
C.230-1991

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record createdDecember 13, 1997
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