On the Trail of Border Crossers: Researching the Traveling Exhibition

The glass painter and glazier Conradus Glaser, who was born in the Bohemian Forest, travelled to work at the construction sites of large structures in today‘s Czech Republic, Germany and Poland in the 14th century. Monthermé – Porto Valtravaglia – Intra on Lake Maggiore – Varese – Wingen-sur-Moder – Saint-Louis-lès-Bitche were stops for the Walter-Griener family of glassmakers in the early 19th century. The glass artist Maria Koshenkova (born 1981), who was born in Russia and now lives in Denmark, works in various locations in Europe and overseas.

Glass and border crossing have always been linked. The European glass regions inspired each other. When Lisa started research at the University of Graz for the planned Glass Works touring exhibition in 2019, she was instantly fascinated by the skilled and artistically gifted border crossers who were behind this exchange: They were to become the centerpiece of the exhibition. In archives, museums, books, on trips to France, Eastern Bavaria and Northern Czechia, during cross-border phone calls, in e-mails and in interviews, glass people from the past and the present could be followed. In designing our touring exhibition, we trace their cross-border biographies of movement in pictures, texts, glasses and maps.