The collection
Five glasses in gradating sizes, each a cylindrical form with stem set on one side above a circular base.

Smoke Collection of Stemware

Designed by
Joe Colombo (1930–1971)
Produced by
Arnolfo di Cambio, Colle Val d’Elsa, Italy
18 x 4 x 4 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, 2001.48.1–5

Italian architect and artist Joe Colombo created this glassware with off-center stems to allow smokers to hold a drink with one hand, gripping the glass with one thumb, and still hold a cigar or cigarette between two fingers of the same hand, leaving the other hand free.

The graduated sizes on the set served different types of drinks. Colombo’s initial career was as a painter and sculptor, but he later changed directions and opened an architecture and design studio around 1962. He sought to create flexible modern designs with multiple functions and was prolific during the decade of his design career before his early death at the age of 41.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Denis Farley.