The story of bohemian glass

published by Lasvit

Path of light • Socialist Czechoslovakia


Socialist Czechoslovakia

After WWII, Czechoslovakia was included in the post-war zone of political influence of the Soviet Union — the so-called Iron Curtain. The Communists received the greatest support of the voters in February 1948 and used support from Moscow and a political coup to essentially take over Czechoslovak state power. Despite their previous democratic promises, they legalized a totalitarian regime of government by a single party and empowered the grasp of Soviet despotism. Many innocent people were executed during the ‘manufactured’ political trials directed by Soviet secret police in the 1950’s. Over 200,000 citizens were jailed in newly constructed camps. Political relief finally arrived during the Prague Spring of 1968 when, for several months Czechoslovakia (among other things) renewed the possibility of travel abroad to the free world. On August 21st of the same year, Czechoslovak territory was invaded by a Soviet-led army that definitively broke the hopes of the nation for a freer life. Czechs and Slovaks would remain under Soviet occupation and wait for their freedom until 1989



Glass in the Socialist Times

Skloexport, a monopoly company for the export of glass, was established by the regime in the period after 1948. The nationalization of Czech glassmaking brought about irreversible losses while it enabled a swift modernization of operations and formerly unthinkable experiments in pattern-making. Czech art glass was born during this specific environment with the ambition to measure up to sculpting or painting and unique projects were born. The Czechoslovak presentation at the world exhibitions in Brussels (1958) and Montreal (1967) were phenomenal. These included smelted glass sculptures of the art duo Stanislav Libenský – Jaroslava Brychtová, the spatial objects of René Roubíček, inventive and perfectly executed designs of hand-made (as well as pressed) utility glass. All this served to bring Czech glass back to the center of world attention, despite the fact that it originated in a country governed by socialism. The glassworks in the area of Nový Bor became one of Europe’s primary areas for producing painted glass. Cut glass was primarily produced in Světlá nad Sázavou and Poděbrady. Machine production experienced enormous changes as new factories were built, and modern crystal glass was produced in quantity.


IX More

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The Celts

The heritage of Celtic tribes in Europe.


The Period of the Reign of Charles IV

The most significant ruler in the history of Bohemia.


Hussite Wars

Reform in the Catholic Church and the fight for religious truth.



The arrival of Renaissance into gothic Prague.


Bohemian Baroque

The remarkable imprint of Baroque in the Bohemian lands.


Bohemian Lands in the 18th Century

The transformation of feudal empire into a centralized state.


The Napoleonic Wars

One man’s grand ambitions of overtaking the whole of Europe.


The Birth of Czechoslovakia

After more than three hundred years, Czechs and Slovaks get the nation-state.


Socialist Czechoslovakia

The political influence of the Soviet Union after WWII.


The Velvet Revolution

The postcommunist era and the split of Czechoslovakia.



Socialist Czechoslovakia

The political influence of the Soviet Union after WWII.


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