Simon Gate (Swedish, Södra Fägeläs 1883–1945 Orrefors)
H. 7, Diam. 7 5/8 in. (17.8 x 19.4 cm)
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, 1999
Not on view
In 1916 Orrefors Glasbruk (Orrefors Glassworks) hired Simon Gate as its principal designer. Trained as a painter and an illustrator, Gate had no previous experience as a designer of three-dimensional objects. Unhampered by tradition or convention, he became one of the most innovative and influential figures in the early development of twentieth-century art glass. This remarkable footed bowl typifies his slottsglas, or "castle glass," series-elegant pieces characterized by subtle delicacy in both form and color. The sinuous fluting of the bowl and foot creates pleasing gradations in the translucency of the gray-green glass. At the same time, the piece dramatically explores the technical limits of glassblowing: the extreme fragility of the thin walls and attenuated stem enhances the illusion that such glass was designed to be used in the appropriately refined environment of a castle or its domestic equivalent.
Inscription: Signed, dated, and inscribed (bottom of foot): Orrefors 1918 KB - S. Gate
(sale, Bukowskis Auktioner, Stockholm, October 29, 1998, no. 906, sold to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Recent Acquisitions of Twentieth-Century Design and Architecture," June 29–November 14, 1999, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Curator's Eye: J. Stewart Johnson, 1990–2004," March 1–November 6, 2005, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Modern Design: Selections from the Collection," May 30–October 5, 2008, no catalogue.