Glass glowing specimens in museums: problems of preservation and popularization

: pp. 51 - 58
L'viv Polytechnic National University

The research concerns glass glowing specimens preserved in such museums as Lviv History Museum, Historical Museum of the town of Vynnyky, Volodymyr-Volynsky Historical Museum and Kremenets Regional Museum of Local Lore. Although glass glowing specimens are available in the museums of historic character, they are not always properly presented in the exposition. One of the reasons is that the craft of glass-glowing has not gained sufficient popularization in Ukrainian historiography, despite the centuries-old tradition of glass glowing. On the territory of the Carpathian and Volyn regions, the continuous development of glass glowing can be traced back to the XII century, and the new stage of its development – forestry glass glowing – began in the last third of the XV century.

Of all the above museums, Lviv History Museum presents the majority of glass glowing specimens, and the most preserved and interesting exhibits can be found in the Museum of Glass, a special department of Lviv History Museum. Among its exhibits there are products of Univ and Korostiv glass-glowing workshops, which impress by highly skilled production. Alongside, glass glowing products from Potelych, Lviv region and other territories are  introduced  here. However, the museums face some problems with dating of glass products that fall into them, therefore the question of interpretation and dating of the memories of glass glowing is quite acute. The same problem is with registration of museum items: sometimes they are not listed in the museum inventory book, and therefore may eventually be lost.

Applying scientific approach to the study of glass glowing seems the most expedient. First of all, one should deviate from the idea that it was a handicraft and primitive phenomenon. The glass products, manufactured by Univ masters and decorated with Venetian thread, convincingly prove that local glass glowing products were not worse in quality than European ones. And due to the search for analogies among the finds, for instance of the Polish origin, it is possible to carry out a more accurate dating of glass glowing specimens.

The tradition started in the Museum of Glass, when glassware of contemporary craftsmen is presented alongside the old glass, is quite appropriate, since modern masters use their ancestors’ methods of glass glowing. We consider such experience worth following in other museums in order to popularize the craft of glass glowing as an integral part of historical and cultural heritage.

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