Bohemian Glass: The Gret Masters


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Bohemian Glass: The Gret Masters
Bohemian Glass: The Gret Masters

edited by Caterina Tognon, Sylva Petrová
Bohemian glass after the Second World War in the new chapter of "Le Stanze del Vetro"
Bohemia (the historical name for the largest of the lands that make up the present-day Czech Republic) was home to glassmaking innovators from the twelfth century onwards, who helped shape and augment the impact of European glass. Glassmakers based in this region were permanently pushed to invent new forms of glass production by competitive pressures from other European glassmaking centres, primarily in Germany and also in Italy, whose superb outputs dominated the global market in decorative glass.
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This major historical connection between European glassmaking centres came to an abrupt end in 1948, when then-Czechoslovakia was overpowered by the Communist regime. Until 1989, the country’s borders were practically sealed off, denying free trade, travel, and communication with the western sphere, greatly impacting the local glass industry. Even so, the Communist regime presented itself abroad with the results of Czech glass-making efforts at large international exhibitions and world’s Expos.
Realized in collaboration with the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, Bohemian Glass: The Great Masters features the works by six major artists of contemporary glass sculpture (Václav Cigler, Vladimír Kopecký, Stanislav Libenský, Jaroslava Brychtová, René Roubícek, Miluše Roubícková), born in the Czech lands in the 1920s and 1930s.
These artists endured the largest-ever military conflict in Europe, followed by a brief respite of freedom and democracy, only to be plunged into totalitarian domination in 1948, which they could finally shed to return to standards of European democracy after 1989.
These great masters initiated and nurtured a relatively “new” mode of glassmaking, “artistic glass”: their creations were unique, as in the case of traditional artistic disciplines such as sculpting or painting, while drawing on the specific characteristics of glass.
The volume closes with photographs by Josef Sudek (Kolín 1896-1976 Prague) from the ‘Glass Labyrinths’ series, taken within the exhibition ‘Contemporary Bohemian Glass’ which was held in Prague in 1970.
LanguageBilingual Italian English
Dimensions23.5 x 30.5cm
Colour illustrations180
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