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PRESS RELEASE 19.11.2014


Touring exhibition of the Finnish Glass Museum 2011-


The exhibition will be inaugurated on November 21, 2014 by Mrs. Heli Kanerva, Minister, Embassy of Finland, Tallinn and by Mr. Heikki Matiskainen, director, The Finnish Glass Museum.
The exhibition will remain open in the Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design from November 22, 2014 until January, 15, 2015.

The Finnish Glass Museum was holding its sixth Finnish Glass Lives exhibition in 2009. The first occasion was in 1986, when an overview of the previous five years in glass art and design was presented. It was realized at the time that an exhibition of this kind is important for the purposes of documentation and for collecting and recording information – the specific work of a national specialist museum. Finnish glass, Scandinavian glass, and even glass world-wide have changed fundamentally since the 1980s, when the Finnish Glass Lives exhibitions began to be staged.

The two previous exhibitions on this theme included an international tour. A large selection of artists and designers (63), and their works (327 items), were selected from the Finnish Glass Lives 6 exhibition to create a separate displayed entity, of which a catalogue was also published. The touring exhibition was until now on show at two venues in Slovenia and Slovakia. At the end of March 2013 the exhibition will be opened in Carmaux, France and continues from there in Autumn 2013 to Gernheim in Germany. There it will be shown from November the 23th 2013 to March16th2014. In this manner, new Finnish glass art can be displayed in different countries and on different continents, thus maintaining its renowned legacy through the contributions of new names in the field.

The culture of Finnish glass today is completely different from what it was 25 years ago. At that time, there were six large, independent glassworks in Finland (Nuutajärvi, Iittala, Karhula, Riihimäki, Kumela and Humppila) and studio glass art was still in its infancy. Of those glassworks, only the Iittala brand actually exists at present, with the Iittala and Nuutajärvi glassworks operating under it. Most of Iittala’s products are now made abroad and many foreign designers have created products that are sold under Iittala’s “i” brand. On the other hand, Finnish glass design expertise has found its way abroad, with perhaps the large Pasabahce glassworks in Turkey as the leading manufacturer in this connection. An international orientation is an accepted fact in the glass industry, and a permanent choice for the future.

Although collaboration between modern Finnish glass art and design and the country’s glassworks has ended almost completely, we are fortunate in that training in glass art over the past two decades has led to results, bringing forth the numerous glass artists whose works are on display in Finnish Glass Art 2005-2010. Teachers and instructors have borne particular responsibility for this, and I feel it would be important to benefit from visiting foreign instructors and lecturers to introduce innovations, new technologies and applications into Finnish training in glass. The standard of international glass design competitions and exhibitions is very high. Displays and experiences of a continuously renewed and diversifying character will attract viewers. It appears that Finnish glass art is achieving a top international level; one suddenly notices its peaks on the horizon, executed in a unique manner and with new artistic expression.

The period from 2005 to 2009 also marked the passing of Timo Sarpaneva (1926–2006), Nanny Still (1926–2009) and Inkeri Toikka (1931–2009), leading designers of modern Finnish glass. We remember and honour them with gratitude for their immense creativecontribution to glass art and design in Finland.

The concept of the Finnish Glass Lives exhibitions was created on a sound basis, and it will also be topical in 2015. We express our gratitude to all the artists and designers whose work is on display in this presentation of new glass art in Finland.

Compiled by: Finnish Glass Museum
Exhibition design and setup by: Uta Laurén (Finnish Glass Museum)
Graphic design: Tuuli Aule

The exhibition is supported by the Embassy of Finland, Tallinn and Solo
Sokos Hotel Estoria, Tallinn

Photos on courtesy of Finnish Glass Museum
Markku Salo. "Diva". Champagne glasses . 2005–2007
Markku Piri. "That way". 2009

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