Murano Glass Museum (Palazzo Giustinian): 700 Years of History

by Elena Peverata
Murano Glass Museum - Photo (C) Where Venice archive. Credits: Stefania Vida

At the aristocratic Palazzo Giustinian, on the island of Murano, a museum hosts the largest historic collection of Murano glass, from Roman times to contemporary design.

From a Patrician residence to a museum: Palazzo Giustinian shares the fortunate fate of many other aristocratic Venetian dwellings, with one important difference.

It is located in Murano, an island renowned throughout the world for the excellence of its glass-making tradition. The museum in question is the Glass Museum, which, after finding a permanent home in 1861 amidst the frescoed rooms of the former diocese of the archbishop of Torcello, continued to expand.

An artisan making a Murano Glass souvenir
An artisan making a Murano Glass souvenir

The Collection

A large number of antique and contemporary glass pieces, donated by Murano-based glass factories, were added to the original archives. The museum’s collection was further enriched by glass objects from the Correr, Cicogna and Molin collections, which include several beautiful Renaissance pieces, as well as an archaeological section. The items displayed are arranged chronologically starting from relics dating back to Roman times (1st/5th centuries A.D.). The permanent exhibition explores seven hundred years of the history of Murano glass, with pieces produced from the 4th century to the present, when the appeal of glass as a medium of expression became one of the themes of experimentation, and a privileged tool of interpretation used by many artists and designers.

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The Timeline at the Conterie

Glass making timeline official picture conterie by muve
Glass making timeline

An exhibition space in its own right is represented by the former Conterie, an industrial glass-making complex that has been transformed into a fascinating white cube, in which an original ‘timeline’, consisting of fifty objects from the Roman era to the 20th century, marks the most important stages in the history of Murano glassmaking, and the technical stylistic evolutions that accompanied it.

The Barry Friedmann Collection

murano glass museum

The Barry Friedmann Collection enriches the Glass Museum of Murano’s island with works by Nason, Buzzi, Poli, Bianconi, Scarpa, and Zecchini. Such is the importance of glass in the Venetian craftsmanship, that a Museum was dedicated to this art in 1861. More than 170 art-works are exhibited in the Friedmann Collection, most of them produced in the most important Murano furnaces such as Seguso, Barovier and Toso, Venini, Salviati, and Cenedese. The collection was donated by New York art collector Barry Friedmann in 2017 to The Venetian Heritage – New York and it enriches the museum’s permanent holdings. A unique opportunity to explore the Venetian art par excellence and to explore the islands around the city.


Open daily 10am-5pm
(last admission 4pm)

Ticket 10 euro. Combo ticket Glass Museum + Lace Museum 12 euro.

Fondamenta Giustinian 8, island of Murano
Venice islands

WATER BOAT: Vaporetto lines 3, 12, 13, 18, 4.1

+39 041 5274718


GPS: 45.4565786,12.354788
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