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Glass art refers to individual works of art that are substantially or wholly made of glass . It ranges in size from monumental works and installation pieces to wall hangings and windows, to works of art made in studios and factories, including glass jewelry and tableware . As a decorative and functional medium, glass was extensively developed in Egypt and Assyria. Invented by the Phoenicians, was brought to the fore by the Romans. In the Middle Ages , the builders of the great Norman and Gothic cathedrals of Europe took the art of glass to new heights with the use of stained glass windows as a major architectural and decorative element. Glass from Murano, in the Venetian Lagoon , (also known as Venetian glass ) is the result of hundreds of years of refinement and invention . Murano is still held as the birthplace of modern glass art . The turn of the 19th century was the height of the old art glass movement while the factory glass blowers were being replaced by mechanical bottle blowing and continuous window glass . Great ateliers like Tiffany, Lalique, Daum, Gallé, the Corning schools in upper New York state, and Steuben Glass Works took glass art to new levels. The first uses of glass were in beads and other small pieces of jewelry and decoration .