08/02/13 - 26/05/13

About the Exhibition

On Museum Night the Museum of Design and Applied Art opens an exhibition featuring chosen items from the Glit Pottery from between the years 1958 and 1973. The exhibition places emphasis on the fact that despite its complicated history over many years of operation, Glit was adamantly devoted to utilizing Icelandic clay and ground minerals in production during its first decade of operation—especially hardened lava.

Glit was, in many ways, well ahead of its time—making deep impressions in the history of Icelandic ceramic art. The Glit Pottery LLC was founded on June 10, 1958 by Einar Elíasson, a businessman; Pétur Sæmundsen, then head of the Federation of Icelandic Industries and later head of the Industrial Bank (Iðnaðarbanki); and Ragnar Kjartansson, sculptor and ceramic artist. The pottery, operated at Óðinsgata downtown Reykjavik until 1971, when the decision was made to expand the company and move its operations to Höfði. The company’s time at Óðinsgata is often referred to as the “Old Glit”, and the company as it operated at Höfði called “The Big Glit.”

Glit’s administration had lofty artistic ambitions immediately upon the company’s founding. Ideas about expansion and exportation came early on, so that nearly from its inception the company operated under the highest of standards and was unyielding in their demand to withstand all comparison. Many of this country’s best-known artists of the 20th century worked at Glit at one point or another, remembering the place as an artistic breeding ground, especially during the time when Ragnar was in charge of the manufacturing workshop at Óðinsgata. Technological advances and the desire to increase production led Glit to shift gears, moving them from Iceland’s history of art and design and into its industrial history.

The exhibition “A Glimpse of Glit” includes many items from the Pottery, both from Óðinsgata (where operations lasted between 1958-1971) as well as from Höfði. The company’s physical move reflected the changing emphasis of its production, as it took place at the same time as artistic direction shifted from Ragnar Kjartansson to the German ceramic artist Gerhard Schwarz, who took over in 1968.

Apart from items from Glit, Icelandic clay will also be on display and its story told as it relates to pottery at Glit. Icelandic ceramic artists will be throwing at the show on days specified on the Museum’s Facebook page and web page.

Exhibition committee: Aldís Bára Einarsdóttir, Gylfi Einarsson, Harpa Þórsdóttir, Inga Ragnars, Sigrún Einarsdóttir
Historical research on Glit and writings: Hanna Guðlaug Guðmundsdóttir
Historical research on the Icelandic clay: Inga Ragnars
Reminiscences on the clay process: Gylfi Einarsson
Descriptional text on throwing on a wheel: Árdís Olgeirsdóttir
Almenn textavinnsla / Text edition: Harpa Þórsdóttir, Þóra Sigurbjörnsdóttir

Exhibition design: Hlynur Axelsson
Exhibition construction: Hlynur Axelsson, Þóra Sigurbjörnsdóttir
Supervision of collecting objects : Þóra Sigurbjörnsdóttir
Graphic design: Ámundi Sigurðsson
Lighting: Aðalsteinn Stefánsson

Forstöðumaður Hönnunarsafns Íslands / Museum director: Harpa Þórsdóttir
Stjórn Hönnunarsafns Íslands / Museum Board: Erling Ásgeirsson, Klara Lísa Hervaldsdóttir, Helgi Pétursson, Margrét Björk Svavarsdóttir forstöðumaður fræðslu- og menningarsviðs Garðabæjar