Magicians

Venice Murano Glass

“Murano, when we approached, seemed even more deeply steeped in color and indolence, but the glass factory which we entered, as if it had been a cave, directly from the Lagoon, was… a scene of persistent production by magicians in white paper caps, who stood behind long tables, manipulating with easy grace their simple tools and small furnaces… I knew for the rest of my life then, as we floated away at an even richer hour, that I had been witnessing the only way of producing the best things of their kind, in what are unjustly called the ‘lesser arts.’ A few skilled workmen, in an appropriate and natural environment, working upon individual pieces, with always the possibility of individual invention, is the true, the right, productive group. There is no other way to carry on the union of brain and hand, of which the storehouse of the ages attests the value.”

— From Background with Figures: Autobiography of Cecilia Beaux (1930)

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