This exhibition follows the stylistic and technological developments in glass and ceramics from Antiquity to 20th century glass art.

Venetian Glass
Venetian glass is soda-lime based glass, and unlike Bohemian potash-lime glass, it is soft and ductile. As it takes longer to harden, it lends itself more easily to creations of elaborate, intricate forms. From the 16th century glassmakers produced not only goblets of all imaginable and often bizarre shapes, but also a variety of fun objects. Vessels of fabulous shapes are a testimony to the refined Italian Renaissance culture and the mastery of their glassmakers.

double-walled glass
The production of double-walled glass was based on a decorative technique practised in ancient times (in the so called fondi d´oro), whereby a gold leaf was fused in the bases of shallow bowls, cups and dishes. In 1679 Johann Kunckel published a new “cold” method of production of Zwischengoldglas: using two glasses stacked together, with the outer, slightly larger one decorated inside with marble oil paints. The dry paint was subsequently engraved with veining and the whole painting was covered with a golden leaf. Another golden leaf was placed on the inner glass, and the two glasses were fitted together, and sealed with chalk and varnish. In Bohemia the old method was revived and improved, and golden and silver leafs and transparent lacquers were used. The Bohemian double-walled glass produced between 1710 and 1750 had a typical facet cutting, it was decorated with scrolls and band ornament and figures of nobility, coats of arms and genre scenes.

Habaner faience
Habanerware is the most important national phenomenon in the history of European ceramics. Moravian Anabaptists, known as Habaner, produced faience for about 140 years, from the end of the 16th century to the 1730s. After that it merged with Moravian and Slovakian folk pottery. The collection in the MDA in Prague is, after Budapest, the second largest in the world and is unique primarily for its earliest Moravian pieces made between 1590 and 1620. The dishes, jugs and tankards decorated with simple emblems and vegetative motifs bear strong traces of Italian Renaissance influence. Pieces produced in the third quarter of the 17th century with inscriptions and almost without exception dated, belong to the top category of world ceramic treasures.

faience factory in Holitch
The oldest faience factory in the Austro-Hungarian empire, was founded under the patronage of Francis Lorraine, the consort of the Empress Maria-Theresa. In 1786 the Emperor Josef II ordered the production of cream-ware. Holitch faience was inspired chiefly by English production. It peaked at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries with pieces of elegant classicist shapes and refined hand- painted decoration.

European figurative porcelain
The exhibition of porcelain documents the history of European production in the 18th and 19th centuries. Displayed are some of the masterpieces in table and figurative porcelain from early periods of the Meissen and Vienna factories. The most precious piece in this section is undoubtedly a porcelain sculpture of the Immaculata by the Meissen modeller J.J. Kaendler (1706—1775), dated 1738. This is a porcelain, part coloured and gilt figure of St. Mary with a child standing on an architecturally shaped plinth with sphere. Under her feet a sickle moon, her right foot rests on a dragon which encircles the sphere. The sculpture was part of a large altar piece, commissioned by Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, for his mother-in-law, Wilhelmina Amalie von Braunschwieg, the widow of Austrian Emperor Josef I. The whole complex also comprised the figures of Christ´s twelve disciples, and was completed in 1740. From Kaendler´s records, it is clear that he finished the model for the Immaculata in 1738. Undoubtedly it is his masterpiece, and one of the finest porcelain figures produced in the 18th century.

art nouveau glass
Glassmakers in Klöstermühle took full advantage of the malleability of hot glass. Artistic invention, knowledge of the material and mastery of skills enabled them to produce a great variety of vessels in all sorts of shapes. They decorated glass with prunts applications, threading and combing. Great effect, typical for Art Nouveau glass, was achieved by the glitter of iridescent rainbow or pearl-like metallic surfaces.
The glassworks Johann Lötz Witwe, Klostermühle, was founded in 1836 and, after changing owners several times, it was acquired in 1851—52 by the widow of Johann Lötz, her grandson Maxmilian Baron von Spaun taking over in 1879. Under his ownership, the glass factory achieved its greatest success, winning several awards at international competitions. Internationally renowned artists designed for the factory, such as Josef Hoffmann, Leopold Bauer, Marie Kirschnerová, Adolf Beckert, Michael Powolny and others. Around 1900 the output of the Lötz factory — both its technological and artistic aspects — was strongly influenced by the work of the American artist L.C. Tiffany. The factory ceased to exist in 1947 after years of gradual decline in reputation.

glass in the 20th century
Glass production of the second half of the 20th century was profoundly influenced by the pioneering efforts of Czech artists to promote glass as a valued artistic means of expression. Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová were at the forefront of this endeavour and with their mould-melted large scale sculptures they crossed the boundaries between applied and fine art. Many other Czech glass artists contributed significantly to this development, often working in different techniques: shaping and decorating glass at the furnace, cutting, engraving and painting glass. The Sculpture Head I is a remarkable piece in this exhibition, as it reflected topical trends in glass art at the time, and also heralded Libenský´s and Brychtová´s later output. The smooth, polished surface contrasts with the rough untreated texture of the hollow inside, with imprints of the mould in which the glass was melted. The light penetrating the glass wall reveals an inner relief with a stylised face.

furniture
Examples of Central European Renaissance and Baroque furniture are exhibited in this room, often pieces where colour glass or mirror are part of the furniture. Emphasis has been on furniture which served to store and display of ceramics, glass and porcelain throughout history. In Renaissance a credenza or a sideboard were part of the dinning room furnishings, in the Baroque era side cabinets with a glazed top appeared for the first time, and variations of it survived until the 20th century. The Empire and Biedermeier periods brought in a typical glass display cabinet, frequently fitted with a mirror at the back. The longcase clock stood as a separate piece of furniture, often lavishly decorated with inlays and carvings, as seen in other items of furniture in this room.