Dragonflies decorate Daum Frères glass vase on view with ‘The Pages of PAN’

By Daniel Fulco, Ph.D., Agnita M. Stine Schreiber Curator
To mark the special exhibition From the Pages of PAN: Art Nouveau Prints, 18951900 (on view through January 29, 2023), we hope that you enjoy this Art Nouveau vase in our collection. If you visit, the work is on view in the Kerstein Gallery.
Daum Frères 1 Daum Frères2
Daum Frères, Nancy, France, established 1878
Glass Vase with Dragonflies, ca. 1900
Blown, cased, and carved glass
Collection of Washington County Museum of Fine Arts
Gift of Michael and Anis Merson, 2018.11.1

This rare vase depicts dragonflies in a natural, pond-like environment, represented by forms cut back as leaves and lily pads. At the neck and base of the vase, the insects gracefully circle and wind themselves around the vessel, lending it elegance and dynamism. The light blue glass cameo is overlaid with a range of colors, including greens, tan, and yellows that enliven its decoration.

Founded by Jean Daum (1825–1885) and later taken over by his sons, Auguste (1853–1909) and Antonin (1864–1931), Daum Frères grew quickly during the burgeoning Art Nouveau period, rivaling Emile Gallé’s renowned firm. Daum was widely acclaimed for its acid etching techniques that often combined carving, enameling, and engraving on a single piece of glass to produce unique designs. In addition to Gallé and Loetz, Daum was one of the leading Art Nouveau glass producers in Europe. Today, Daum is the only commercial crystal manufacturer employing the pâte de verre (glass paste) process for art glass and crystal sculptures, a technique in which crushed glass is packed into a refractory mold and then fused in a kiln.2016.5.3

This WeekendArt is sponsored by Dr. & Mrs. Robert K. Hobbs