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Looking through this 1958 Italian exhibition catalog, Mostra di Mosaici Moderna curated by Marco Valsecchi from our modern section on our library shelf, I thought about how many coffee tables I have seen in France and Italy inlaid with mosaic tiles. I am not counting the well publicized ones done by Roger Capron one of France’s great ceramic artists. This catalog and the cover say it all. It has some plates of mosaics done by the artists listed on the cover.

Who knew that Vedova and Matthieu, two of the better known painters, made these abstract designs into mosaics.

Italy, like many other countries in the Mediterranean, had a great tradition in mosaic work. Just think of the floors one sees in Italian Villas. Yes, there is still a school in the town of Spilimbergo in the Northern part of Italy where this art is still taught. Mosaic work was also accepted as entries for the Venice Biennale in the ’60’s and early 70’s.

 The great Salviati Glass Works in Venice had started out making mosaics, well over a 100 years ago. While I am not implying that all tables with mosaic inlays were done by great designers and modernists in the fifties and sixties, I am quite sure some were done by well known artists, and until this day go unrecognized. Below are two photographs of the Salviati Glass Works company showing its beautiful mosaic facade.

salviati mosaicsalviati mosaic 2