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Roubíček René | Legend of modern Czech glass

Roubíček René

*1922, Prague, Czech Republic


He belonged among the leading figures of the Czech glass art. He was especially famous for his approach to work and he co-created a new glass concept in the field of free art. He worked with the Moser Glassworks since 1950.


1940-1944 Academy of Applied Arts, Prague, Prof. J. Holeček, monumental painting and glassmaking
1949-1950 Academy of Applied Arts, Prague, Prof. J. Kaplický
Then he worked as a freelance artist

Represented at

National Gallery in Prague, Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning (USA), Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Museum für Kunsthandwerk in Frankfurt am Mohan, Museum Bellerive in Zurich, Koganezaki Crystal Park Glass, Japan and others public and private collections.
Video about Mr. René Roubíček and his works of art to view at you tube, on the link


Mr. René Roubíček belonged to the leading figures of the Czech glass art who co-created a new concept of glass in the field of free art since the 1950s. He participated, among others, in the World Exhibition Expo in Brussels in 1958 where he obtained the Grand Prix for his extensive abstract spatial composition called "Glass - Matter - Shape - Expression". People could admire his works at other world exhibitions such as Expo in Montreal, Osaka, Sao Paulo and many other locations. In 1969 he won the gold medal at the International Craft Trade Fair in Munich. His works are represented in numerous world galleries - in London, Paris, Düsseldorf etc. In 2007 he was introduced to the Hall of Fame - Czech Grand Design by the Design Academy of the Czech Republic.

During his creative life which went in symbiosis with his wife, Mrs. Miluše Roubíčková, a glass artist, he became famous for a completely free approach to art - he created monuments as well as intimate objects. He used glass as a sculptor's material and for the creation of parts of interiors. He was also an author of chandeliers, light compositions and glass panes. During the entire creative practice he relied on the quality and properties of free-blown glass shaped at the glassworks. Since 1950 collaborated with the Moser Glassworks and since then, he created numerous highly successful exhibits.

We have asked the legend of modern Czech glassmaking few questions, to which he gladly answered.


You called the exhibition with the Moser Glassworks "Glass Is Like a Jazz". Does it express your idea "What jazz means in music, glass means in graphic art”?

Yes, it does. When playing jazz as well as in creative work, you are accompanied by dynamics and certain unrestrainedness of free art, the necessity for your own invention and improvisation, i.e. neither the artist, nor the listener precisely know until the last moment what way will be followed but fixed rules have been set - for glass by the matter, for music by composition, however, both of them need know-how, a master. To create glass is always improvisation. You never know how it will end. Glass is always different. I have my idea in hands, something like a score, and a glass-maker works according to it. I am next to him and conduct him.

You have collaborated with the Moser Glassworks since 1950. You created a collection of hand-cut exhibits to its 150th anniversary in 2007, in which you distinctively pointed out the beauty of Moser crystal. How did you like creating these works of art?

It was not easy to create a unique exhibit for the 150th anniversary of Moser. On the other hand, it is a great opportunity. Moser – it is a treasure in the creation of luxurious glass – which meant creating a work of art, an object, to this situation, which would fully use all of the Moser crystal properties: the purity of glass, perfect brightness, fascinating colours, incorporating all of that to a single object. I think, it turned out well in the end.

No sooner I do something, I am immediately thinking
how to do it even better and differently, in a more interesting way...

It is truth. As soon as in the following year you created numerous successful exhibits for the glassworks. Let´s mention of them e.g. the work called “Three-dimensional Kupka”, inspired by František Kupka, an excellent Czech painter, or you introduced together with your wife Miluše Roubíčková a replica of the “Brussels Bowl” created for the 50th anniversary of the World Expo Brussels 1958 and which then was highly positively accepted at the exhibition.

You are right. The Brussels Bowl is a very difficult piece to make. Each of the lenses is hand-cut; cutting the bowl takes a week of net time. The bowl is specific by the fact that each of its lenses reflects the image in a different form. Moreover, this is a work of my wife so it joins us in another way as well..

How did you meet your wife?

She originally wanted to study languages at the Philosophical Faculty, Greek and Latin, but Charles University was closed, therefore she studied the Art Professional College where I found glass and my wife.

And have you always wanted to be a glass-maker?

By no means! I wanted to do something else as my wife did. I wanted to study at the Academy. I have painted since I was a small child. When I was twelve, I exhibited my works at an exhibition of amateur painters and nobody knew I was a small boy. After the exhibition Mr. Max Švabinský invited me to him (note of the editor: Max Švabinský, an important Czech painter and engraver). My mother accompanied me and he wanted from me to come to him to the Academy immediately after finishing the secondary school. In the end, I did not go there. Universities were closed during WWII, including the Academy. When I was at the fifth form, Mr. Severa, my teacher, brought me an application form to the Art Professional College and told me to study at the glass and monumental painting atelier of Professor Holeček. I asked him what I would do there when I knew nothing about glass. "Do not worry about that. When you are there, you will be able to do whatever you want", he explained. And this also happened.

In the end, I cannot resist asking how the author in his wonderful nineties describes his approach to work and life and if he did not prefer enjoying the deserved rest. And the answer?

"You know. Work results in work. Once I do something, I am immediately thinking how to do it in a better and different, more interesting way next time so as not to repeat the same. The end is unforeseen and this is what I like about it."

Nice closing, isn't it?

We wish Mr. Roubíček René a lot of further success in glass work.

The editor's office of Fresh From Moser Magazine, 2013