Czech Glass / 1945–1980 - Design in an Age of Adversity and Illusion


Date: 26.04.2007 - 23.09.2007

Held in the eastern wing of the Veletržní Palace, first floor

The exhibition is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Steinberg Foundation in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and the company Sipral.

This unique exhibition presents almost 400 works by prominent artists documenting a revolutionary period during which art glass was gradually being loosened from its predominantly utilitarian and decorative functions. Czech glass made a great splash on the international scene at Expo ‘58 in Brussels, and continued to do so at other exhibitions in the late 1950s and in the 1960s. Glass artists drew inspiration from various streams of foreign painting and sculpture, transforming them into specific results radically changing the prevailing attitude toward traditional glass products. In the late 1950s, glass enjoyed unusually broad creative freedom, though art glass had for years moved between repression and official support, the latter being a major contributor to its dynamism and intensity. Since the second half of the twentieth century, however, glass art production has found a basis in the effective system of Czech glass education and teaching concepts, which the professional public has always regarded as unique. The melding of all the equally important components of realization, ranging from the creative to the technical, may be seen at the exhibition in the wide assortment of applied techniques and the flawlessly executed exhibits. For the first time, glass objects are displayed together with their preparatory drawings and designs. A large part of the exhibition is composed of the as yet unpublished glass collection of the Liechtenstein-based Steinberg Foundation. The reprised exhibition in the National Gallery in Prague follows a successful run in Germany, Denmark and the United States. It is organized in cooperation with Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf, Germany, and the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague.

An extensive English catalogue (including the text’s electronic German version and photographs of hundreds of drawings and designs) has been published for the exhibition. The catalogue includes pictures of all the exhibits, a number of texts by an international team of experts (with Helmut Ricke as editor) and the artists’ biographical data. In addition to the catalogue, a smaller Czech-language booklet with selected exhibits and a brief text has been published.

Admission fee:
Basic: 100 Kč, Reduced: 50 Kč, Family admission: 150 Kč

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