Miro painted the mural on canvas and turned it over to artisans who used the canvas as a guide to create the finished glass and marble work.
Unlike most museum pieces, the mural isn’t inside the building. It sits on the museum’s south exterior wall. In 2011, the museum undertook a massive restoration of the mural, removing it from the wall to rebuild it. Curators estimate that the mural shed about 400 small glass tiles each year. The original mural glass was created by Ateliers Loire in France.
When it was constructed, the mural was divided into 80 separate panels. It was removed in exactly the way it was constructed, and rebuilt in pieces. Conservators cut thousands of new glass tiles, designed to match the original French tiles. The panels were treated with a new epoxy that allows the mural to flex. This should allow the glass tesserae to adhere to the mural better, and withstand weather and seasonal temperature changes.
After five years of restoration, the mural was returned to its place outside of the museum last month, and is the subject of a celebratory exhibition of Miro’s works in all media.
The use of glass tiles isn’t just being seen in this mural. Many interior designers are turning to glass, glass tile and glass composites to create both interior and exterior designs. The versatility and durability of glass is at the heart of its popularity in design.
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Photo Credit: Brent Danley, via Flickr.com