Though originally trained as a painter, Hald is best known for his career as a designer for the Orrefors Glasbruk ("Glassworks") in Sweden. Hired in 1917, together with Simon Gate he worked directly with the firm's glass blowers and cutters in an effort to update and improve the quality of the company's designs.
Colored glass and engraved glass were among two of the firm's specialties. This vase employs both techniques: an outer layer of royal blue glass is deeply etched to reveal the colorless (though frosted) layer below, allowing the design to be seen in a reverse-cameo effect. The dramatically flaring form and charming decoration are superbly integrated: stylized bursts of fireworks fill the expansive nighttime sky, while a parade of fashionably dressed spectators in a park setting below creates a continuous frieze at the bottom of the vase, visually anchoring it to its narrow base.
Inscription: Inscribed (on base): Orrefors. Hald (script)/248.F. H.
the manufacturer, Orrefors Glasbruk, Orrefors, Sweden (until 1927; sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Exhibition of Swedish Contemporary Decorative Arts," January 18–February 27, 1927, no. 29.
Baltimore. Walters Art Gallery. "Art Nouveau to Art Moderne: Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 2–April 28, 1985, no catalogue.
Raleigh. North Carolina Museum of Art. "Art Nouveau to Art Moderne: Twentieth-Century Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 22–August 11, 1985, not in brochure.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Century of Design, Part I: 1900–1925," December 14, 1999–March 26, 2000, no catalogue.
Léon Deshairs. "Les Verreries d'Orrefors." Art et décoration 49 (January–June 1926), ill. p. 115 (unknown collection).
C. Louise Avery. "Modern Swedish Glass." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 22 (August 1927), p. 214, fig. 1.
Nils G. Wollin. Modern Swedish Decorative Art. London, 1931, ill. p. 111 (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm collection).
Arthur Hald, ed. Simon Gate, Edward Hald. Stockholm, 1948, ill. pp. 60–61 (overall and details; unknown collection).
Dag Widman inEdward Hald: Målare, Konstindustripionjär. Exh. cat., Nationalmuseum. [Stockholm], 1983, pp. 78–79, no. 124, ill. (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm collection).
Jane Adlin in "'Ars Vitraria': Glass in The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 59 (Summer 2001), p. 63, ill. (color).