Within its walls, The Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou presents the second largest collection of glass in Bohemia and a collection of costume jewellery unmatched in the world. Nowhere else on the planet will you find all types of costume jewelry material, technology, and assortment – only at the museum in Jablonec. Exhibits of three hundred-year-old pieces are joined by hot innovations that designers created only recently.
The great strength of the museum is its unique combination of glass and costume jewelry. It is estimated that the collection holds 12 million pieces, 5 million of them glass buttons. These items come from not only the Jablonec area or the Czech Republic, there are rarities from abroad too.
The museum building was constructed in the Art Nouveau style in 1904 and stands in the very center of the town of Jablonec nad Nisou. Reconstruction of the entire building, the former headquarters of Theimmer & Schmidt export house, was completed in 2004. That made it possible to create timeless expositions whose concept was well ahead of their time. Within you will find a selection of the best of the museum’s extensive collection.
In the permanent exposition entitled The Endless Story of Jewellery, you can admire costume jewelry, buttons, coins and medals, original designer jewelry, and an extraordinary assemblage of fasteners and buttons from the J. Waldes Collection, declared a cultural monument on account of its value. The Endless Story of Jewellery presents the development of Jablonec costume jewelry from its origins to the present. Through thematic films, technology, decoration techniques, glass and metal costume jewelry you will learn in detail about the Jablonec phenomenon that transformed the region from a poor submontane area into an advanced hub of industry and trade.
The Magic Garden – Bohemian Glass in Seven Centuries exposition, meanwhile, follows the story of glass from anonymous cups to unique design pieces and presents luxury glass alongside everyday items. Together with an attractive selection of awards and trophies from well-known competitions and polls. It holds more than 1,300 examples of the dexterity of our ancestors, from the Middle Ages to the present. The spatial installations created by René Roubíček for the Expo 58 and Expo 67 World’s Fairs are also well worth seeing. They are among the landmarks of world glass art. The space as a whole is set on the plan of a French garden, where next to the main path, the dominant features are a bell, a maze of mirrors, and a glass fountain, and side paths and niches that give you the chance to see the exhibits from different perspectives.
An architecturally exceptional glass annex on the shape of a gigantic cut glass crystal was completed in 2020. It has quickly become a new dominant feature in Jablonec. The unconventional exhibition hall is home to part of the largest collection of Christmas ornaments in the world, as stored at the museum. The World of Wonders (WOW) exposition will be installed here, the creator of which is Jakub Berdych JR, one of the foremost Czech designers. The concept draws on the fact that Christmas ornaments from Bohemia mainly travelled abroad. This is why the exposition is home to display cases reminiscent of Manhattan or an ocean liner.
THERE IS MORE
The museum also offers visitors short-term exhibitions, museum programs, creative workshops, costume jewelry courses, talks, discussions, and online activities and virtual tours.
An accompanying programme for families is also available for permanent expositions and most exhibitions. The museum is also home to a relaxation zone and a children’s play area and sells refreshments, Bohemian glass and costume jewelry thematic publications, and souvenirs.
The Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou is open all year round. During the summer, the museum also opens “Fuchs Cabin”. It is a timber-framed cottage and protected monument in the former glassmaking settlement of Kristiánov in the Jizera Mountains. The permanent exposition within stands at the highest altitude of any permanent exhibition in the Czech Republic.
For more information about the Liberec Region, where the museum is located, click here and here.