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Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Exhibition Review: The Moser Crystal Story

Published on March 16th, 2017 in Entertainment

  • Moser Crystal Story photo of exhibition. Photo courtesy of MOSER

  • MOSER glass factory, 1927. Photo courtesy of MOSER

  • Moser Crystal Story photo of exhibition. Photo courtesy of MOSER

  • Moser company logo. Image courtesy of MOSER

If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know a thing or two about artisanal handmade crystal glassware (like ours)… so we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of a firm called Moser, no? Founded way back in 1857 in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, it is among the world’s best-known luxury brands.

 

Ludwig Moser, founder of MOSER in Karlovy Vary in 1895. Photo Courtesy of MOSER

 

If you’re in Prague anytime between now and March 22, you should definitely stop by the Municipal House to check out an impressive exhibit commemorating Moser’s 160th anniversary, where you’ll find a huge assortment of glass in an array of historical styles, including Art Nouveau, Art Deco, mid-century, and contemporary designs.

 

Moser Crystal Story photo of exhibition. Photo by Amy Hughes

  

 

One of the most interesting works on display is the 1911 “Splendid” drinking set (figs. 1-2).  Notable for its rich cutting and applied work, this set has been owned by “past and present heads of states, governments, parliaments, diplomatic circles and many other prominent persons,” and it’s on the basis of this set that Moser calls itself “the king of glass, glass of kings.”

 

 

 

 “Splendid” drinking set designed in 1911. Photo courtesy of MOSER

 

 

Another highlight of the exhibition is the 1909 “Copenhagen” set (fig. 3), which has been a part of important state events and meetings at the Prague Castle since the First Czechoslovak Republic.

  

Mid-century design lovers are sure to appreciate Moser’s “Giant Snifters” set (fig. 4), which won the Grand Prix at the 1958 World Expo in Brussels, Belgium.

 

Louis Armstrong is a member of the Giant Snifters Club. Photo courtesy of MOSER

 

There’s also a selection of glassworks featuring the firm’s pioneering use of painting and color techniques, such as the 1880 “Jasmine” set of elaborately gilded and enameled tumblers (fig. 5).

 

Jasmine Drinking Set, hand-cut, painted & gilded. Photo courtesy of MOSER

  

Also featured are displays on Moser’s partnerships with contemporary glass artists, including the famous designer René Roubíček and the master painter Jan Janecký, whose incredibly talented brushstrokes grace ARTEL’s very own Gilded Birds motif.

 

Moser Crystal Story photo of exhibition. Photo courtesy of MOSER

 

 

For chandelier lovers, the exhibition’s pièce-de-résistance is, without question, the topaz-colored, 24-carat-gold-plated, blown and cut crystal “Ludwig” chandelier (fig. 7). Designed by Moser’s Art Director Lukáš Jabůrek and artist Filip Houdek, the monumental tribute to the firm’s founder Ludwig Moser weights nearly 200kg and took a team of 40 people a year to complete. It is truly a wonder to behold.

 

Chandelier for Ludwig Moser, 2016. Design by Lukáš Jabůrek and Filip Houdek. Photo courtesy of MOSER

 

 

 

This exhibition offers a rare opportunity (outside the ARTEL design stores, of course) to get an up-close view of such exquisite craftsmanship, skill and artistry – so don’t miss it!

 

Moser Crystal Story

Municipal House

9 February—22 March 2017

Námestí Republiky 5, Prague 1, Old Town

http://www.obecnidum.cz/en/

tel 222 022 107

hours Mon.-Sun.: 10:00-19:00

metro Námestí Republiky

tram 5, 8, 24, 26 to Námestí Republiky

 

Cost: 170 CZK per person (which includes a glossy catalogue of the works displayed and short texts about each piece)

 

Amy Hughes, M. A.

Ph.D. Candidate

Fulbright Alumna and Visiting Research Fellow, Ústav dějin umění, Akademie věd České republiky, v. v. i

Art and Design History and Visual Culture Studies

University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

 

 

Photo captions and credits:

 

 

 

Fig. 4 “Giant Snifters” drinking set, 1957 original design by Rudolf Schwelder and František Chocholatý.

Photo: Moser Crystal Story exhibition guide

 

Fig. 6: “Trendy,” vessel, René Roubíček, ca. 2000

Photo: Amy Hughes

 

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