The Glass Museum in Novy Bor introduces visitors to the stylistic and technological development of glass in Bohemia from the 18th century to the present. Its collection is valuable evidence of the craftsmanship and inventiveness of many generations of local glassmakers and artists. Glassmakers and refiners themselves initiated the foundation of the museum. They longed for the opportunity to exhibit their work in public and preserve it for future generations. Thanks to the Union of Glass Workers and significant support from the town, the museum was open in the town hall building in 1893.
The high-quality collection base was acquired thanks to gifts from individuals and larger companies. It has continued to grow due to museum competitions, and after the second World War due to transfers from former glass companies. A valuable part is also formed by a collection of works from the local glass school. In 1952, the museum was moved to a separate building, No. 105 in the square of Nový Bor.
The collection is continuously expanded and new exhibits are added, again mostly due to gifts of individual glass artists and companies or the enlightened public. Visitors have the opportunity to see a permanent exhibition divided into sections according to various decorative techniques, each supplemented with historical models of workshops. Among basic decorative techniques belong painting, cutting, engraving and furnace decoration, and then there are many other, mostly modern, glass processing techniques. Besides the permanent exhibition, the museum holds several short-term exhibitions throughout the year, mainly monographs of artists, historical exhibitions or exhibitions connected with the region.
The International Glass Symposium is one of the most important creative world events in the art glass field. Its ongoing tradition started in 1982, when glass artists came together for the first time with glass craftsmen in the Crystalex glassworks in Nový Bor to exchange experience and to get to know each other in a friendly, collegial and creative environment. Since then, the symposium has been held every three years. It has hosted several hundred artists from the whole world. Over the last few symposium years, it has been organized not only by Crystalex, but also by many other.
After a long 20 years, the permanent exhibition was brought up to date and newly opened in September 2013. The exhibition spreads across two floors and is divided into four sections according to refining techniques – engraved, blown, cut and painted glass. Excepting of painted glass, each section also contains a historical model of a relevant workshop. Exhibits at the permanent exhibition represent 8% of the whole museum collection. The exhibition, which shows the development of Bohemian glass from the 18th century up to the present, is completed with showcases explaining glass technology.
For more information about the Liberec region, from which this museum comes, click here and here.