The Glass Circle - a society for the information, appreciation and understanding of ancient, antique, modern and contemporary glass.  

Glass Circle Diary Dates - Outings


Invitation to join a Group Visit to the

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Wednesday 25th April 2018, 11am-3.30pm

  The Fitzwilliam Museum is well-known to glass lovers thanks to the extraordinary range and quality of the Donald Beves bequest. The museum has recently received the Batchelor bequest, comprising mainly eighteenth-century British and Spanish glass as well as some earlier Dutch and French items. At present, there is the added attraction of a fascinating private collection including glass on loan to the museum. Over the past fifty years, Francesca and Massimo Valsecchi have built up a remarkable collection of European fine and decorative art. Their eclectic collection ranges from Italian Old Masters and Modern British paintings to English Arts and Crafts and European Rococo. Francesca is particularly interested in glass and over the years has collected works by Louis Comfort Tiffany, Emile Gallé, Daum, Loetz, and Venini (including pieces designed by Italian architect, Carlo Scarpa). The glass and other objects are displayed throughout the Museum to create intriguing and witty juxtapositions and ‘conversations’, just as the works were seen in the Valsecchis’ London home. They can be identified in the galleries by their specially designed labels.

  After meeting for refreshments, the group will divide in two. Half will follow Helen Ritchie, Research Assistant in the Applied Arts Department, for a ‘glass tour’ of the museum, while the rest will go to the Study Room with Dr Victoria Avery, Keeper of Applied Arts, for a handling session of Batchelor collection items. Lunch can be bought independently in the museum café or nearby. In the afternoon, the groups will swap and we will re-convene for tea at about 3.15pm.

  NB Transport and lunch are not included; details of suggested trains and park and ride (to the museum’s door) will be sent in due course to those attending.

  Cost for the day, to cover tea/coffee, biscuits am and pm, and a donation to the museum: £12

  Payment can be made in advance to our Treasurer, Laurie Maxwell by cheque, or online using the reference of your surname and ‘Fitz’. Please notify us by email if you wish to pay this way.

  For queries, please contact Susan Newell, Tel: 07515 946 151 or


Recent past visits:

  Our last visit outside the UK was in May 2015 to the USA to visit the Henry Ford Museum Detroit, The Toledo Museum of Art, then almost 3 days - the highlight of the tour - at The Corning Museum and town, and Brooklyn NY for the Brooklyn Museum and the Metropolitan Museum New York - see our page 'Visits' for an article describing what was seen on the US tour.

  A recent trip abroad (April 2016) was organised by The Glass Association for members of the Glass Association and the Glass Circle to Barcelona and Catalunya

 In September 2017 a joint gathering by the Glass Circle and the Glass Association took place in Ipswich and Thorpeness to visit Christchurch Mansion Museum, the home of an important collection of 18th and 19th century glass, and afterwards the collection of a Glass Circle member.

 The next visit abroad is likely to be to Italy including Milan - in Autumn 2018.