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The exhibition Paris glass will be showing these Aalto vases, which have now been in production for 75 years, and telling anecdotes about them. The exhibition will also take a peep at the debut milieu of the vases as it was then in Alvar Aalto’s Finnish Pavilion at the Paris Exposition. How the vase actually found its way onto the tables at theSavoy restaurant will also be revealed at the exhibition.

The Aalto vases are based on a series of glassware designed by Alvar Aalto, which originated as the result of a design competition held by the Karhula-Iittala glassworks in 1936. Aalto’s proposal had a lively and imaginative name, ‘Eskimoerindens skinnbyxa’ (The Eskimo woman’s leather trousers). The first actual series of glassware was completed for display in the Finnish Pavilion at the 1937 Paris International Exposition. One of these vases, originally known as ‘Parisglass’, found its way on to the tables of the Savoy restaurant inHelsinki. Consequently, this particular model was given the name ‘The Savoy vase’.

There will also be a number of fringe events associated with the exhibition, from glass-blowing to table-laying, plus a photographic competition aimed at the general public.


Paris glass. The Aalto vase – 75 years on

May 12 – October 2, 2011

In the Gallery of Alvar Aalto Museum


Alvar Aalto Museum

tel. +358 (0)14 266 7113