Open Wed-Sun 11.00-18.00 / 17 Lai Street Tallinn, 10133 Estonia


PRESS RELEASE 20.02.2013


The Luminous Shine of Grey Times: Glass Factory Tarbeklaas 1940-1960


With this exhibition, we are extremely pleased to introduce examples of industrial glass production of the Tarbeklaas factory from the years 1940-1960. These are the years following the nationalisation of Johannes Lorup's previous large-scale production facility that became known as the Applied Arts Factory (Tarbeklaas) in 1941.

There is very little known about the industrial glass production and its designers during these years. There were no catalogues and the first artist to begin working at the factory in 1953 was Helga Kõrge. That is why occasionally no names stand alongside the works on display in most cases they are simply not known. However, dedicated glass enthusiasts will hopefully recognise ashtrays designed by Maks Roosma, as well as Helga Kõrge's bowls.

Preserved photographs and the helpful commentary of Maie-Ann Raun have been the main sources of information in identifying applied art glass from the given period. Many glass moulds from the Lorup era continued to be used in production years after the factory of the same name was long gone. It is also known that in the 1940s and 1950s, many items among the Tarbeklaas factory’s production were made used pan-Soviet moulds and finishing techniques. There are also a few pieces on display which were correctly identified as hailing from Tarbeklaas thanks solely to their enduring stickers.

Characteristic to the period is rich decoration. Its scope and complexity on glass vessels meant higher price and was thus highly favoured. The few undecorated items in display are blanks hat have survived in the families of the former employees.

We would like to draw the viewer's special attention to cased glass, where bright tones and intricate cuts are a testament to the mastery of the craftsmen working at the factory. When speaking of the craftsmen and glass-blowers of the time, a sincere bow of respect and gratitude goes out to brothers Alfred and Harri Mere, whose breath and creative hand can no doubt be felt among many of the beautiful items on display.

The pieces making up this exhibition hail from the private collections of Teet Reier and Irene Teesalu and from the portal


Wishing you the spark and sparkle of glass!
Teet Reier

author of the exhibition

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