The Brilliance of Swedish Glass, 1918-1939


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An Alliance of Art and Industry

Edited by Derek E. Ostergard and Nina Stritzler-Levine

View Inside Format: Cloth
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Since the mid-1920s Swedish glass has been synonymous with excellence in design and craftsmanship, the most highly acclaimed product of the Swedish applied arts industries in the international marketplace. Its development and stunning ascendancy came about through the concerted efforts of Swedish artists and manufacturers to improve the technique of glassmaking and to explore the full range of aesthetics of the medium.

This book examines the emergence of Swedish glass against a historical, socioeconomic, and art-historical background. The authors discuss how the transformation of Sweden from an isolated agrarian society to a modern industrial nation parallels the modernization of the glass industry, and how the triumphs of Swedish glass in the period between the two world wars had repercussions beyond the applied arts.

This book also presents a wide selection of 157 works, shown in color, that trace the development of Swedish glass during the interwar years. In addition to superlative art glass, there are examples of domestic glassware, stemware, scent bottles, light fixtures, and other forms, all of which represent themes and variations that encompass the Swedish response to modernism. The texts that accompany these objects examine the complex technical aspects of glassmaking and the aesthetic possibilities of glass as a medium.

Published in association with the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, NY

Derek E. Ostergard is associate director and Nina Stritzler-Levine is director of exhibitions at the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts. Stritzler-Levine is also the editor of Josef Frank, Architect and Designer, published by Yale University Press.

"This book is a refreshing change from the more familiar factories and concentrates exclusively on the Swedish glass industry in the interwar years. Swedish glass is renowned for its fine quality workmanship and excellence of design, and this book will hopefully introduce these beautiful examples to a wider audience."—Sally Hoban, Antiques Bulletin

"[A] beautifully illustrated and superbly researched book."—Richard Edmonds, Birmingham Post

"The impressive catalogue accompanying the exhibition is a story in itself. The first English-language publication to deal with Swedish glass of this period, it includes essays by Swedish and American scholars. Meticulously-detailed descriptions of the objects take pains to credit the blowers and engravers as well as the artists who created each design. A comprehensive glossary clarifies glassware terminology and the book includes abbreviated histories of the major Swedish glassworks as well as a comprehensive bibliography."—Antiques and the Arts Weekly

"If you have been tempted to collect glass but have so far resisted, this may be the book which persuades you to start."—House and Garden

"This substantial book contains a wealth of information on the socio-economic history surrounding Swedish glass production and the artists and makers involved. . . . It is a book for art historians and collectors, but there is much in it for those who simply wish to enjoy a good book on glass."—Crafts

"This book is the first in depth examination of the renowned French porcelain works during its virtual rebirth under the direction of Alexandre Brongniart. . . . This book draws attention to Brongniart and his accomplishments, bringing him out of obscurity and shedding new light on a period of French porcelain production that truly deserves greater recognition".—Antique Dealer & Collectors Guide

"Although there is plenty here for the collector, this is also a serious and well-informed publication which will be an essential reference work. It is the first such extensive study in the English language of the Swedish match of art to industry and to social theory."—Jennifer Opie, Journal of Design History

ISBN: 9780300070057
Publication Date: December 25, 1996
Publishing Partner: Published in association with the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, NY
336 pages, 9 x 12
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