In Kamenický Šenov (founded 1352), a town with a long-term tradition of glass decoration by carving and engraving, in the place, where the oldiest glass school of the world was founded (1856), and where the atelier Lobmeyr was active for many years, there has been established a new tradition of the triennial International symposium of engraved glass. A week long gathering of artists and craftsmen supports by its possibilities of a confrontation of the traditional way of engraving with new methods, by mutual experiences as well as by a knowledge exchange and discussions about the future orientation of the technique to the solution of the question of the next development of the engraved glass.The program is usually divided into the working, cultural and theoretical parts. The working one is realized in workshops of the Glass School Kamenický Šenov and of the Secondary Professional Apprentice School Nový Bor. The active participants carry their semifinished and finished works. The finished exhibits are accepted by organizers for the exhibition, the semifinished and new manufactured pieces are realized in workshops during the week from monday to friday. The exhibition of participants´ works is opened on saturday and closed on Oct. 31 st. The works donated for the Glass Museum collection become a part of the permanent exhibiton.
The theoretical part includes a specialized seminar, the lectures are published in the catalogue of the Symposium. The supplementary cultural program is intended especially for historians, glass experts and collectors, who are in this way allowed to meet the production of local factories and workshops, as well as many other facts and places of interest.

The Symposium is organized by the Association of the Engraved Glass Symposia, in collaboration with the Glass School of Appliad Arts, the town, the Glass Museum and the Atelier of Peter Rath, all from Kamenický Šenov, and with members of the Czech Glass Association.

/International symposia of engraved glass/

The International Symposia of Engraved Glass in Kamenický Šenov have been organized by the Kamenický Šenov Town, the Glass Museum, the Secondary Glass School and the Glass Studio Peter Rath since 1996. In 1998 The Association of Symposium of Engraved Glass was founded as a special-interest association of natural and artifical persons. Its aim is to provide – in cooperation with other subjects – the preparation and organization of the tri-annual International Symposia of Engraved Glass in Kamenický Šenov.

/The aims of the Symposia/

– creative meetings and cooperation of artists, handycraftsmen, historians, theorists and other specialists
– development of new ideas in the branch of engraved glass and discussion of possibilities of their realization
– increasing of the interest n the technique of glass decoration by engraving especially with students of glass schools
– making of new contacts, developing of cooperation with top specialists and institutions both from the Czech Republic and abroad
– organization of professional seminars
– publication of documents from the individual years of Symposia
– publicity of the glass industry in the region

The first Symposium was held in 1996 on the occasion of the 140s anniversary of the foundation of the Secondary Art-Industrial Glass School in Kamenický Šenov – the oldiest glass school in the world – with the participation of 88 artists, engravers, glass specialists and other interested persons from ten countries. The exhibition of the works was opened at the Glass Museum Kamenický Šenov from September 27 to October 31, 1996.

The second Symposium in 1999 was held under the patronage of the Czech Commision UNESCO on the occasion of the 200th birth anniversary of an important glass engraver Dominik Biman. There took part 142 participants from eleven countries. The exhibition of works was opened from September 18 to October 21, 1999, in the new reconstructed building of the Glassicenter in Kamenický Šenov.

In the third Symposium held in 2002 on the occasion of the 650 anniversary of foundation of Kamenický Šenov under the sponzorship of the European Union 115 participants from the Czech Republic, Australia, Estonia, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Austria, Russia, the Great Britain and the United States. The results of their activities were presented in the Glass Museum from September 7 to October 31, 2002.

The fourth Symposium will be held from September 5 to 11, 2005.

A part of all years of the Symposia became a simultaneously interpreted professional seminar about the history, present and future of the engraved glass, an exhibition of the works of the participants, visits of glass

schools, studios of glass artists and glass companies in the region as well as concerts in churches and various cultural and social programmes. The history of the Symposia, presented lectures and exhibited pieces have been documented in catalogues and videos from the individual years.

/Works donated to the collections of the Glass Museum Kamenický Šenov were presented in exhibitions abroad/

1/ “Leidenschaft Glasschnitt – Generationen der Glasgravur versammelt zu Franz Wendlers 90. Geburtstag” in the Glass Museum Rheinbach near Bonn, Germany (6. 6.–21. 9. 2003)

2/ „The Glass Bridge/ Glasbrücke Kamenický Šenov – Weisswasser“ in the Glass Museum Weisswasser, Germany (27. 3.–31. 5. 2004)