Glass Museum Frauenau

Border-Crossing: Glass and Art in Frauenau

Frauenau is located in the centre of the historical Bavarian Forest glass region and at the border to the Czech Republic as the European heart of glass production. Simultaneously, Frauenau plays a central role for the International art scene in glass.

The foundation of the Glass Museum Frauenau lies in the focus between industrial, hand-made glass production and modern, artistic studio glass: 1975 is was founded as a museum for the regional and international history of the art, technology and social life of glass making. In 2005 it was re-opened with a new concept and architecture.

In Frauenau glass making can be traced back to late mediaeval times. Today three glass factories are still producing table ware: the Von Poschinger Glass Manufacture, family owned since 1568, the former Crystal Glass Factory of Isidor Gistl, founded in 1925, which today produces glassware fully automatically as a subsidiary of Spiegelau Glass, and Eisch Glass, which has produced hand-made glass since 1952. Besides these factories Frauenau has numerous glass workshops and artist studios.

The Frauenau glass artist, painter and sculptor Erwin Eisch was, from 1962, one of the key pioneers of the International Studio Glass Movement, which started off in the USA, aiming to establish glass as an art medium. In Frauenau he set up, from 1964 to 1974, the first studio glass furnace in Western Germany. From these roots the Academy Bild-Werk Frauenau provides a creative and buzzing international meeting point and focus for glass and art.

Compared to former times present day hand-manufacturing of glass has been grossly diminished. Against this downfall, and the pressure of recession and globalisation, Frauenau emphasises the creativity and the knowledge of glass makers and artists, and the uniqueness and sensitivity of hand-made glass.