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 Admission with Museum Card

The beauty of the Phenomena - Gunnel Nyman and Dora Jung - Glass and Textiles

The Finnish Glass Museum, Riihimki

  • 3.7.2020–25.10.2020

Gunnel Nyman and Dora Jung were friends and experts of their own craft. They organised joint exhibitions, however, never collaborated in art.


Gunnel Nyman, the designer of Facet, Rose Leaf, Serpentine, Calla and other glass items dear to the Finns, was a pioneer in glass at a time when the designer work was just emerging.

Gunnel Nyman, b. Gustafsson (19091948) designed glass for Riihimki, Karhula, Iittala and Nuutajrvi glassworks. She designed her first models for the Riihimki glassworks in 1932 and the last for Nuutajrvi in 1948. Between the years 1932-1948 she designed the factories several glass models, of which c. 130 altogether were taken in production or a prototype was made. The majority of her designs was art glass: vases or bowls, with only some utility glass. The items were made in the glasshouse as free-blown or mould-blown, with varied decoration techniques.

The foundation for the world-wide reputation of Finnish art glass in the 1950s was laid by glass artist Gunnel Nyman with her classic works before and after the Second World War. Arttu Brummer, who was a notable teacher in industrial arts, guided his pupil, the talented, 23-years-old furniture designer to the Riihimki glassworks, where their collaboration begun already in 1932. In her works, the Nordic influences became refined into phenomena, which still addresses with their uniqueness to the experts of the Finnish glass, national and international collectors as well as museums.

The Beauty of the Phenomena crystallizes Gunnel Nymans relation to glass in its simplicity. The plasticity, sculpturality, symmetry, the understanding of light and proportions and the brightness of the glass mass were emphasized in her works to a level that has hardly been reached in our country since. The road she marked inspired then and now the young designers and artists.

Dora Jung was very early on a concept herself, both nationally as well as in other Nordic countries. Her name is connected with the high quality and delicate aesthetic look. Characteristic of Jung was the material-based design and the overall comprehensive control of the handicraft methods. She draw influences for her works particularly from nature.

The production of Dora Jung covers nearly five decades, and she worked both as an artisan and a designer in the textile industry. She is particularly known as an ecclesiastical textile designer, artist of the damask technique and a creator of the monumental textiles for public spaces. Jung called herself first and foremost an artisan and after that an artist.

Gunnel Nyman and Dora Jung were friends and experts of their own craft. They organised joint exhibitions, however, never collaborated in art. Nonetheless there can be seen a few interesting parallels in their art.
The designer Gunnel Gustafsson-Nyman (19091948) and the textile artist Dora Jung (19061980) became very close friends, although they shared only a few years together. School acquaintance became friendship during their study years in the Central School of Applied Arts. Gunnel Gustafsson begun her studies in the furniture design department in 1928 and Dora Jung a year later, in the newly established textile art department. Both graduated in 1932.

Everything was possible, new and exciting in the 1930s. Nyman and Jung participated in exhibitions both in Finland and abroad, made study trips and received awards. Both were awarded for the 1937 Paris Exposition, Gunnel Nyman for art glass, luminairies and furniture and Dora Jung for her damask cloth in linen.

After Paris in 1938 they were invited to organize an exhibition in the Museum of Applied Arts in Helsinki. Nine years after this first joint exhibition, in 1947, Gunnel Nyman and Dora Jung organized the second collaborative exhibition. The name of the show presented at Artek emphasised simply the artists and their works: Dora Jung Kudoksia/Vvnader Gunnel Nyman Lasia/Glas. Also in this exhibition Jung presented mainly textiles for interior decoration, several damask cloths and Katoamattomuus wall textile. The exceptions were two ecclesiastical textiles Helluntai (Pentecost) and Karitsa (Lamb). Prinsessat (Princesses) wall textile, which during the war years was woven in paper, was now made as a place mat in linen. The Artek exhibition and the exhibition in Liljevalchs Gallery, Sweden, in 1946 were the real breakthrough for both artists in Finland and abroad.

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Museum contact details

The Finnish Glass Museum
Tehtaankatu 23, 11910 Riihimki

050 500 1956

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Admission with Museum Card
Admission with Museum Card


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