Housed in a modern bluestone building in the countryside of northern France in Sars-Poteries, MusVerre highlights the beauty and depth of glassmaking. The museum is a cultural touchstone for the region, with its active exhibition calendar and artist-in-residence program, as well as an extensive collection of over 800 pieces, which includes contemporary and historical pieces.
TLmag: You recently took over the management of the museum. What are you looking forward to in this new role? What excites you about being with this unique institution?
Eleonore Perretti: First of all, I am honored to have been chosen for this new adventure, and lucky to be able to work with such a formidable team, in a magnificent setting, to promote and document a unique collection of historical and contemporary glassware. I am fairly new to glass, which allows me to learn on a daily basis, and to continue to marvel at this fascinating material. As for the museum itself, it has enormous potential, which I think is yet to be fully exploited. For example, we are working to make it more accessible and open to everyone, by welcoming everyone and giving them an unforgettable experience. It’s so inspiring to try new things in this field, and also to meet people with different visions!
TLmag: What is the vision of the contemporary MusVerre collection? How is it evolving into the 21st century? Is the emphasis on young talent and emerging artists as well as established artists?
EP: There are more than 800 works in our contemporary collection, and it continues to grow. Whether through donations or acquisitions, we strive to offer visitors a more complete vision of the main contemporary glass movements.
We are also very attached to developing the link between the museum and the artists through residencies at the Atelier. We are mainly looking for new talents to give them the opportunity to develop their potential in our beautiful, perfectly equipped premises. This mission has always been one of the most important for us and must remain at the heart of our mission. For three years, we have been developing links with glass schools such as the IKKG (Koblenz) and the HEAR (Strasbourg) and wish to continue welcoming students and very young artists to help them express their vision.
In the future, it will also be very interesting to focus on important contemporary artists who are not glass experts. in itself, but have developed an interest in this issue.
TLmag: Within the collection, is there a focus on nature and landscape themes? How is this represented?
EP: There are indeed a lot of works in the museum representing nature in various ways; in fact, there is even a dedicated room in the contemporary section that focuses on it, through beautiful rooms. One of my favorites is Greenery by Sylvie Vandenhoucke, a delicate work that she produced during her 2010 residency at the Atelier du musée. Although it is inspired by tapestries illustrating in great detail, each little blade of grass in a landscape (hence the name Greenery), she created an all-white composition based on tiny prints in molten glass, woven on a canvas. I also like the works of Keiko Mukaide or Michèle Perozeni, because they manage to translate their interior landscapes into poetic sculptures.
As for our visitors, they are very fond of the works exhibited in the garden which reflect the landscape and offer a new level of interpretation.
TLmag: Do the artists in residence who come to MusVerre often consult the archives and the history of the museum when they create new works on site? Are they interested in the landscape and surroundings as part of their research and inspiration during their stay?
EP: Many guest artists, and particularly foreigners, take the time to immerse themselves in their new environment. Some come to the Workshop with a plan and do not deviate from it, but most let themselves discover their environment. They are generally fascinated by the landscape of the bocage and the way in which the museum interacts with it, emerging from the contours of the land and playing with the relief. We are fortunate to be located in the Regional Natural Park of Avesnois, which conceals many cultural, natural but also culinary assets!
The history of the village and the museum is also an important part of the artists’ inspiration. We have had beautiful residences on these themes like Philipa Beveridge (2009), who collected local souvenirs, or Sally Fawkes, in 2017, who documented her trip to Sars-Poteries through photographs, drawings and pieces of beautifully sculpted and sculpted glass.
TLmag: What are the museum’s next exhibitions in 2022?
EP: From February to August, we will have a beautiful exhibition, “Cabinet de curiosités”, which will bring together for the first time amazing contemporary works by international artists. Visitors will stroll through the wonders of nature, from the smallest beings to the largest creatures, reflecting on life and death… it will be a must-see event, with many surprises throughout the exhibition.
From September 2022, we will have the pleasure of welcoming artist Jeremy Maxwell Wintrebert for a solo exhibition featuring some of his recent pieces, including Gravity ripples # 3, an impressive 9-meter-long work made up of glass rings of different sizes, in shades of cobalt blue.
The MusVerre has plenty of great things in store for you for years to come, so stay in touch with us!