FINDING BALANCE - Design of Czechoslovak Pressed Glass 1948-1989

Organizer:Muzeum skla a bižuterie v Jablonci nad Nisou

Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou U Muzea 4 / 398, Jablonec nad Nisou, 466 01, Display on the map

Date of performance:8.10.2021 až 10.4.2022 od 10:00 do 18:00
Event character:National
Recommended for:Relaxing holiday
Event type:Exhibition -
Thematic category:Visual arts - design, glass art
More information at:
Annotation:The whole world knows Czechoslovak pressed glass. The Jablonec Museum has prepared a representative overview exhibition with a publication presenting its history and development between 1948 and 1989. It is called The Search for Balance.

Detailed description:


Design and utility – a unique exhibition of pressed glass from the era of socialism.

Czechoslovak pressed glass is known the world over. Our museum has created a comprehensive exhibition together with a publication illustrating its history and development from 1948 to 1989. The exhibition is called Finding Balance. It showcases the commercial successes, prototypes and experiments of the period by both illustrious and relatively unknown designers, tasked year after year with creating new designs for utility glass for everyday use in homes and restaurants.

Many people still have at least a handful of pieces of socialist pressed glass at home, which, unlike other types of Czechoslovak utility glass, was widely available on the foreign and domestic markets. This glass is also a sought-after collector’s item, and of keen interest for researchers both at home and abroad.

The leading producer of hollow utility pressed glass between 1948 and 1989 was Sklounion in Teplice, which operated a number of glassworks throughout the country. Small but commercially viable glass goods, collectively called glassware, were exported all over the world from the Jablonec glassworks in today’s Desná, through Skolexport, the monopoly state trading enterprise. Both centres of production are featured in the exhibition.

“For the sake of clarity, we decided to divide the exhibition into four periods in order to show what is typical for which period and what is exceptional. We have not overlooked the period of the First Republic, which is of great importance for understanding the genesis of this field. In all, there will be around 300 products on display,” said Petr Nový, the project’s chief curator. 

The authors of the exhibition and the publication took great care to identify and date the objects, consulting with a number of production and export specialists and private collectors. The result is the largest contemporary exhibition of pressed glass in the Czech Republic and the first ever detailed specialist publication on the subject in both Czech and English. In addition to Petr Nový and Dagmar Havlíčková, the museum curators, the theoretician Jaroslav Polanecký from Jan Evangelista Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem also contributed significantly to the project. “The title Finding Balance resonates with how the world of production practices and business has struggled constantly with the ideas of designers,” says Polanecký. “Yet the role of educated designers was crucial to the creation of the aesthetics of modern Czechoslovak pressed glass, and its impact on the actual form of production was unique in the global context.”

The exhibition was designed by renowned architect and designer Prof. Jiří Pelcl, who was last year inducted into the Czech Grand Design Hall of Fame. He opted for a clear, sober but effective concept that allows the exhibits to stand out. The graphic design of the exhibition and the catalogue was created by prominent graphic designer Radka Folprechtová, in collaboration with Barbora Solperová.

“The preparation and realisation of the exhibition and the publication was funded by the 2016-2022 Czech Ministry of Culture Programme for the Support of Applied Research and Experimental Development of National and Cultural Identity as part of the Design of Czechoslovak Glass and Costume Jewellery Project 1948-1989, led by the Museum. It complements Kaleidoscope of Taste, an exhibition and book about Jablonec costume jewellery at world and domestic exhibitions, which is currently on display at the Retromuseum in Cheb,” director Milada Valečková added.

Finding Balance – Design of Czechoslovak Pressed Glass 1948-1989 will be open to the public from 8 October, 2021 to 10 April, 2022. The official opening will take place on Thursday 7 October at 5 pm.