Cross-border Cultural Heritage Glass – What Next?

That was the name of a well-attended event at the Munich Chamber of Crafts on January 10, 2022, despite Covid restrictions. The occasion was our touring exhibition “Glass Works. European Glass Lives in Craft, Art and Industry”, which stopped there over the Christmas and New Year period. In the Joseph-Wild-Hall, in the middle of Munich’s old art district Schwabing, and illustrated with pictures and stories from the Glass Museum in Frauenau, cultural anthropologist Katharina Eisch-Angus traced how European glass people always crossed borders, always breaking new ground – and how the international studio glass movement did just that from the hotspot Frauenau.

Afterwards there was an exciting panel discussion with Prof. Dr. Daniel Drascek and Wolfgang Loesche from the Bavarian Commission of Experts for UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, together with Heinz Fischer and Sarah Höchstetter from Glass Works/Bild-Werk, and Selina Weber and Patricia Mund as Glass Works Trainees from the winter of 2019/2020 intake. The latter both described how they had used the Glass Works training as a stepping stone into self-employment.

Perhaps the most important message was that the era of the large glassworks in the Bavarian Forest is largely over. However, in small units, and with new structures, , glass still has a chance. And it is exactly here that Bild-Werk, with its experience and connections, is exactly right in time: here we can create a “turning point” that is currently not only emerging in East Bavaria, and that opens up new perspectives for regional development.