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Amber Art Deco

Who were the artists creating unique Art Deco jeweler in 1919-1939 and who were the recipients of their works? Who was the supplier of amber to make the jewelry? From where and how did he supply it? The exhibition "Amber Art Deco...", which will be opened from 26th January to 30th September 2018 at the Amber Museum in Gdansk, a branch of the Gdansk History Museum, will answer these questions.



Art Deco was a style in art and architecture popular in the years 1919-1939. It was not art for the masses. It was certainly intended for wealthy, educated elites. The offer of small, elegant, utilitarian objects or items used for decorating fashionable interiors made of amber or decorated with amber, was addressed to such customers. The exhibit consists of a total of 186 exhibits, as well as a unique film from the 1930s.

Amber Art Deco - not only for women...

Nowadays amber is associated mainly with jeweler for women. Nearly a century ago, smooth or faceted balls or tears were placed on the metal, sometimes silver sticks of products manufactured in Gdansk. The balls and tears could also be transparent or opaque, arranged in buds or flowers, as well as geometric patterns. They were accompanied by leaves, also on sticks, gently profiled, with delicate, engraved veining. Men also fell in love with amber - in their own way...

''Accessories for smokers were very fashionable. Not only traditional pipes and cigarette holders, but also ashtrays, cigarette cases, cigarette boxes, cigars, matches and lighters, or clocks, barometers, thermometers, inkwells, decorative plates, candlesticks and many more. These objects will be shown at an exhibition devoted to the phenomenon of amber in the interwar period'', says Renata Adamowicz from the Amber Museum, the curator of the exhibition.

Many more words can be written about the exhibition and its exhibits, but a lot is also reflected by the image, and the most by the film. The archival documentary presented at the exhibition tells the story of amber extraction between two world wars. It was shot in the area of today's Kaliningrad Oblast....

''Aleksander Gliwinski, a well-known amber craftsman, found a metal can with film stock in the attic and handed it over to the Amber Museum in 2010. A 10-minute film is a unique specimen. Few materials of this kind have been preserved and we are glad that we have it in our collections. What will strike the visitors of our exhibition is the contrast between the recipients of the amber masterpieces and those who extracted this precious resin'', says Renata Adamowicz.

130 pages of Amber Art Deco

The exhibition is accompanied by a 130-page catalogue containing photographs of all the characters of the exhibition, which will be published in 300 copies. It can be purchased at the cash desk in the Amber Museum. It will also include interesting essays by Prof. Anna Sieradzka, the most prominent art expert in the Art Deco era in Poland, and Dr. Leonard Tomczyk from the Lohr am Main Museum, the author of the monograph Die Staatliche Bernstein Manufaktur Königsberg 1926-1945. This will be the first publication in Polish about the history and production of the State Amber Manufactury in Konigsberg.