A Message From The President

Siamo arrivati anche a febbraio

We have also arrived to February

I hope you have had a good January. The weather varied from frigid cold to mildly sunny but we survived. In February we will begin our yearly events starting with an Italian conversation class every Wednesday for 8 weeks. Please sign up if you’d like to participate in this. Naturally, all of the preparations of our St. Joseph event are going to start in the middle of February and culminate with the Feast of St. Joseph in mid-March.

As I began to think about this month’s article I reflected on some of the many treasures displayed in the museum at the Italian American Cultural Center of Iowa. One of these treasures is the many examples of Murano glass.

Murano Glass is made in Murano, one of the over 150 islands that make up Venice in northeast Italy. Murano’s glassblowers were (and still are) leaders for centuries on a European and worldwide level. They have become masters of this art and, in many cases, pass on this art of glassblowing to generations within the same family. Centuries-old techniques are still used today by Murano glassblowers to create massive and elegant chandeliers to figurines to stemware to wine-stoppers. Styles range from very traditional to extremely contemporary.

Murano Glass consists of 70% silica sand added to 30% stabilizers usually made up of soda and lime. These stabilizers allow the glass to melt at a lower temperature and also prevent the glass’s solubility in water. Murano Glass starts out colorless. By adding small amounts of minerals, oxides, and chemical derivatives to the base powder the glass can take on an infinite combination of transparent, opaque, or alabaster colors. Curiosity: it is impossible to obtain the color black in Murano Glass. If one looks very closely (or holds the object up to the light) the true color will be either a dark blue, dark purple, or dark green. Yet the color is so intense and dense that it appears black.


Our own museum houses many examples of Murano glass coming from some of the most prestigious and famous glass factories in Murano, including Salviati, Seguso Viro, Barbini, and Carlo Moretti just to name a few. Please take time to visit our museum at the Italian American Cultural Center of Iowa.

Please support the efforts of the Italian American Cultural Center of Iowa in order to spread our culture throughout our community.

Grazie – Thank you

Buon San Valentino a tutti – Happy Valentine’s Day to you all

Paolo Bartesaghi, President

Italian American Cultural Center of Iowa

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