Cheap Thrills at the Glasmuseum Passau — Outrageous, Over-the-Top Decorative Glass.

Rich, meticulous design from Josephine Glassworks, Silesia, circa 1898-1905. Photo by Barbara Newhal

Rich, meticulous design from Josephine Glassworks, Silesia, circa 1898-1905. Jugendstil-Art Nouveau. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Spotted at the labyrinthine Glasmuseum Passau — wonderfully outrageous, phantasmagoric decorative glass. Gotta share it with you. Take a look. Cheap thrills.

Yeah. Yeah. I’m definitely indulging in a bit of smug irony here. The folks who created, appreciated — and paid for — these concoctions no doubt took them quite seriously as high decorative art in very good taste. But I’m a denizen of the twenty-first century, born in the less-is-more mid-twentieth century. So if I love these things, it’s precisely because they are so outrageously over-the-top — and in some cases, gorgeous.

You’re seeing these pictures because Jon and I took in the Glasmuseum at Passau during a river trip last month. More about that travel adventure up the Danube and down the Rhine in the days and weeks to come.

More glass at “Dale Chihuly’s Glass –Fine Art? Kitsch? Or Both?”  Mosaic art at “A Berkeley Spin on an Ancient Art.”

Decorative Glass Historicism Style

Historicism. 1880-1900. Bohemia and Bavaria. glasmuseum passau. glass. glass museum. photo by Barbara Newhall

OK. This one’s actually ugly. Way too fussy for my taste. It’s an example of late 19th century Bohemian-Bavarian Historicism. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Pink and white fluted decorative glass in the Historicism tradition. 1880-1920. At the Glasmuseum Passau. glass. Photo by Barbara Newhall

But I like this pink and white confection, also in the Historicism tradition, circa 1880-1920. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Art Nouveau – Jugenstil Glass

Josephinenhuette. Schlesien. 1899-1900. glasmuseum passau. glass. glass museum. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Jugendstil-Art Nouveau bowl from Josephinenhuette, Silesia, 1899-1900. Photo by Barbara Newhall

1860-1900. Silesia-Bohemia-Bavaria. glasmuseum passau. Photo by Barbara Newhall

I wish I could tell you more about all this outrageous glass. But my German is only so-so these days and it was hard to decipher the labels. This egg — shell? nut? — had a date of 1860-1900 and an origin of “Silesia-Bohemia-Bavaria.” Looks like Art Nouveau to me. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Mid-Nineteenth-Century Decorative Glass
A mid-19th century mirror by Fritz Heckert. barbara takes her photo. glasmuseum passau. glass. glass museum.

Mid-nineteenth-century mirror. Twenty-first-century photographer. As you can see, the rooms are small at the Glasmuseum Passau. You go up and down stairs and around corners to discover ever more vitrines packed with the museum’s collection of 30,000 pieces from Silesia, Bavaria, Bohemia and Austria dated 1550 to 1950. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Shown in the Glasmuseum Passau, a id-19th century green glass goblet with flower motifs from Josephinenhuette. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Mid-19th-century goblets from Josephinenhuette. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Decorative glass circa 1835-1845. Bohemia. Round plate with amber Painted glass with chinoiserie motifs. glasmuseum passau. photo by barbara newhall

Also from the mid-nineteenth century: Painted glass with chinoiserie motifs, Bohemia circa 1835-1845. I wonder, who had more fun? The artisans who cooked up these confections — or the aristocrats who ate off of them? Photo by Barbara Newhall

 

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