International Year of Glass

International Year of Glass

2022, in the name of fragile beauty

International Year of Glass
The UN General Assembly declared this year, among other things, as the International Year of Glass, a fascinating and beautiful material in all its forms. Get to know glass this year as one fascinating material: crystal clear or coloured, in the form of cut stones, shining chandeliers, jewelry, small beads, dainty figurines and engraved works of art. Visit Czech glass and jewelry workshops, exhibitions and glass events, museums of glass and jewelry and manufactories, where fragile Christmas decorations are born.

Take a peek at the works of glassmakers

The Rückl Glassworks has been synonymous with first-class cut crystal since 1846 and can be found in Nižbor southwest of Prague in Central Bohemia. During guided tours of the Rückl glassworks, you will get to see the various stages and traditional techniques of glass production. Upon prior appointment, tours are available in German and English. The production of Krkonoše ornaments from glass pearls in north Bohemia in Poniklá in the Rautis Glassworks has been on the UNESCO list since 2020. During the excursion, you can take in the entire production process, from the hand-blowing of glass beads through silvering and colouring to the actual assembly of the decoration. Visitors are welcome on weekends, upon prior appointment. The city of Karlovy Vary in west Bohemia is not only a spa hotspot, but also one of Czech glassmaking. The Moser Glassworks visitor centre is located here, dedicated to the art of glassmaking since 1893. Inside the museum, you will learn about the history of this family glassworks, which became a court supplier to the royal courts and still successfully continues the rich tradition of art glass production.

Where to find glass exhibitions

Glass and Jewelry Museum in Jablonec nad Nisou

The unique Museum of Glass and Jewelry in Jablonec nad Nisou, north Bohemia, has prepared several new additions to its permanent exhibitions and interesting new exhibitions for this year. Right at the beginning of the year until April 10, you can visit the Finding Balance exhibition, which maps the design of Czechoslovak pressed glass of the second half of the 20th century. Until May 29, The Soul of Glass exhibition will be presented here in the form of works by glass artists who can also make them themselves. And what about permanent exhibitions? There are two of them - The Never-ending Story of Jewelry and The Magic Garden - Czech Glass of Seven Centuries. This year, these permanent exhibitions will be complemented with a permanent display of typical Czech glass Christmas decorations in the museum's glass extension.

As part of the celebrations of the International Year of Glass, the museum is also preparing an explanatory exhibition on Czech glassmaking of the past 30 years titled HOT.HOT.HOT, which you can visit from April to October 2022 at the National Technical Museum in Prague.

Nový Bor Glass Museum

The exhibition space of the Glass Museum in Nový Bor in northern Bohemia features glass from the Baroque period to the present. You will also enter the exhibition space located in the cellar with exhibits of contemporary art from prominent Czech glass artists. And what have they got in store for you here this year as part of the International Year of Glass? The museum is opening an exhibition by glassmaker Ilja Bílek (26 February – 22 May), an exhibition titled Crafts and Arts in Glass (18 June - 2 October) as well as an exhibition by Czech glassmaker and designer František Jungvirt (22 October 2022– 31 January 2023).

Fragile beauty in Jablonec nad Nisou

This year, the Fragile Beauty exhibition in the north-Bohemian centre of Czech jewelry - Jablonec nad Nisou - will offer visitors the opportunity to view and buy beautiful products of Czech jewelry makers and glass companies directly from the manufacturers between 4 and 7 August.  The accompanying programme will also feature interesting music bands and a jewelry fashion show. Adults and children can then create their own jewelry, paint a Christmas decoration, blow a glass cup, make a glass mosaic or an artificial flower in the many creative workshops.

Crystal Valley Week in Liberec

The concept of the Crystal Valley connects glass, jewelry and jewelry makers throughout northern Bohemia. During the Crystal Valley Week festival, which will take place in Liberec on August 23-28, you will learn about traditional glass production, from chandeliers, Christmas decorations, drinking glasses, jewelry and glass sculptures. The weekend programme will present over 40 traditional glassworks as well as modern glass-making companies, studios, glass schools and museums. Come and admire not only the wonderful products, but also the production process itself. And what can you look forward to in Liberec? To art installations, a design market, crystal tram, fashion shows, pop-up stores, beer and wine tastings and light projections.

Glass Town in Železný Brod

The town festival in Železný Brod in northern Bohemia is focused on the celebration of glassmaking. Visit on September 17 and 18. It is a traditional meeting of glassmakers, artists, historians, collectors and lay admirers of glass art and quality craftsmanship. During the Glass Town festival, you will have the opportunity to admire the creativity and craftsmanship of students of the local glass school or to actively partake in a special programme of events of creative glass workshops from various different fields.

Will the glassworks be inscribed on the UNESCO list this year?

The craft of glassmaking still has a strong tradition in the Czech Republic, and it might surprise you to learn that the Czech Republic is one of the largest producers of glass. Therefore, it has joined other applicant countries and is working its way to having its handblown glass production inscribed on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage. The list could include overall handblown production from sand and glass raw material production to manual processing techniques such as grinding, engraving, painting or the production of glass rods for jewelry and others. Will the Czech Republic make it on the list? We'll see. This year's Year of Glass could be of great help!