CANBERRA’S most famous glass artist, Klaus Moje, was recognised on Tuesday for his brilliant career of 55 years being awarded the Seattle-based Pilchuck Glass School’s prestigious Libenský-Brychtová Award.
The award, which recognises excellence and artistic achievement, was presented to Moje by fellow artist Dale Chihuly, the first National Living Treasure in the US, at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle.
We’ve been used for a very long time to hearing stories of Moje hopping off the plane in Germany to TV cameras, a very different experience to walking down the street in Canberra where he’d be lucky to be recognised, but those within artistic circles know him as one of this country’s most significant artists, the founder In 1983 of the glass workshop at the Canberra School of Art, a former Artist of the Year, and the mentor to the dozens famous glass artists to have emerged from the school and help make Canberra, along with Seattle and Portland Oregon, one of the world’s great glass centres.
Moje’s legacy includes the creative partnership with industry that changed the landscape of glass throughout the studio movement with the development of a compatible glass by Bullseye Glass Company in Portland.
In 2006 he was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia. In addition, the second Living Treasure of the Masters of Australian Craft series initiated by Object: Australian Centre for Craft and Design. Moje’s art has been the subject of major museum retrospectives that have toured Germany, Australia and the US in 1995, 2008 and 2009. In 2011 Canberra Glassworks mounted Moje’s most recent solo exhibition, “A Continuum”.
The Libenský-Brychtová Award was established by Pilchuck Glass School and Stanislav Libenský and Jaraslava Brychtová in 1996. Previous recipients include Dale Chihuly, Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová, Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick, Richard Marquis and Lino Tagliapietra.