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.

Table of Contents
Susan Weber Soros

Goran Bernhoff and Anders Bjorck

Derek E. Ostergard and Nina Stritzler-Levine

1. Sweden and Swedish Model, 1900-1950
Lars Magnusson

2. Swedish Industrialization and the Glassworks
Maths Isacson

3. Social Needs and Aesthetic Demands: Ellen Key, Gregor Paulsson, and Swedish Design, 1899-1939
Clarence Burton Sheffield, Jr.

4. The Emergence of Swedish Modern Design, 1917-1939
Anne-Marie Ericsson

5. Glass in the Context of Cotemporary Swedish Painting and Scuplture, 1918-1939
Nina Weibull

6. A Brief History of Swedish Glass
Gunnel Holmer

7. Lighting Design at Orrefors Glassworks, 1920-1940
Gunnel Holmer

8. Swedish Glass Between the World Wars
Elsebeth Welander-Berggren

9. Orrefors Glass in Public Spaces
Marta Holkers

10. Modern Swedish Glass in America, 1924-1939
Derek E. Ostergard

Catalogue of the Exhibition
Derek E. Ostergard and Nina Stritzler-Levine

Appendix: Swedish Glassworks and Designers, 1741-1996
Gunnel Holmer

Compiled by Vincent Plescia