DESIGNER: MICHAEL POWOLNY|
BORN: 871 JUDENBURG / DIED 1954 VIENNA, AUSTRIA
ARCHITECT / DESIGNER
Michael Powolny and Josef Hoffmann were important representatives of the Viennese Secession group. They were the pioneers of modern design and the new use of colour in the production of Loetz Tango glass.*
Loetz Tango glass is distinctive from other glass primarily due to its stylised form and the highly contrasting use of colour. Powolny emphasised this colour contrast by decorating the coloured surfaces with black or white lines. Progressively, the use of colour was restricted to two, which served to accentuate the design even more. This style evolved around 1914.
This modern style became very popular in Europe and sold well. The glass was primarily produced by the Loetz Czecho-Slovakia factories. Many glassworks or Glashutten (glass huts), as they were called, as well as large and small glass studios in the vicinity of the Loetz factories also began experimenting with this Tango style. Gradually, many variations of this style appeared. Often the design and workmanship of these products were based on the existing models of Powolny. Many of these glass studios also either worked directly for Loetz or received orders from Loetz. For this varied range of glass, with its black, white or yellow lines, special decoration glassworks were set up with new artists such as Kolek, Frans Wilms, etc.
Magnificent ' multicoloured glass ' , also sometimes referred to as ' splatter glass ' or ' end-of-day glass ' , was also produced. With its range of colour patterns, this glass became very popular, although there were also products made of a somewhat lesser quality. Often the 'multicolour' pieces were finished with black or white edging and were therefore also referred to as Tango glass. Most of the glass produced was often designed by or based on the designs of Powolny. But various other glassworks in Czechoslovakia and Austria also originated designs. This decorative style was so interesting that it spread to France and Germany, where Tango glass of a very high quality was produced by Schneider and WMF.
One appealing aspect of this magnificently coloured and designed glass is the fact that collectors are still able to find it for reasonable prices, although a strong revival of interest in this glass is now driving prices up. Relatively simple objects are currently selling for EUR 800 to EUR 1,000 at international auction houses.
In this book you will find decorated Loetz glass designed by the artists mentioned earlier: Kolek, Frans Wilms, and Dagobert PÍche. The objects shown are not all authentic Tango glass in its original form, but they do possess the characteristic two-colour scheme and the unmistakeable Art Deco appearance. We will limit the length of our introduction and explanatory texts in order to leave space for detailed pictures of our collection and to highlight the many models with a wide range of design, colour variation and decoration.