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Lights are placed above and below the panels. In this case, the lights are actually aimed at the wall so that the light bounces off the wall and passes forward through the colored glass.
If you love glass art, then white walls may be the way for you to go. To share a personal story, one of my clients came home from the store so excited because she had found a beautiful but transparent, rich turquoise-colored glass platter. The turquoise color glowed in the brightly-lit and almost completely white store. Unfortunately, the only places to put this platter in her own home had dark wood paneling on the walls and no way to provide light from behind. Ultimately it ended up looking drab and dark, and she was very disappointed.
The colors of these beautiful platters show up spectacularly against this white wall.
Oh — Did I say that you needed to put glass in front of a white wall for it to look good? Well, not exactly. These yellow wall pieces by Robert Kaindl look spectacular against this black wall. Here's why: They have a high percentage of opaque glass in them. The black wall shows through the translucent areas adding contrast with the opaque yellow which shows up well against the dark wall.
So as a rule of thumb: if you are placing a piece of glass that is all or mostly translucent, the colors are going to show up better in front of white and with light coming from behind it. But if the glass is mostly opaque, then you can put it in front of any color wall and light it from the front.
Placing your glass pieces where light can pass through from windows and other sources will give it the best opportunity to sparkle. The clear glass table and white carpet under this sculpture allow the colors to be appreciated from all angles.
These are Leucos lights created from stacked blown glass cylinders. Placing them in front of large windows means the color and translucency is displayed even when the lights are not turned on.
Placing a collection of glass pieces in this unique open room divider elevates the look of simple glass vases.
So, if you are trying to place glass art: Think space, light, bright and white!
More Glass-inspired Ideabooks:
Decorate with a Rainbow of Glass
Cascading Chandeliers: All Kinds of Gorgeous
Life in a Glass House