Vases, 1970

Glass Blown into a Metal Mold, Polished and Matted
Design by Václav Hanuš

The 1970’s dawned with a more sober attitude towards the wide variety of options that had been opened up in the previous decade. This appeared in both the narrower perspective on trips to the planets in our solar system as well as in the near global nuclear catastrophe. It was as if the world, rushing headlong forwards, suddenly took its foot off the pedal. The first serious oil crisis and the associated recession undoubtedly had something to do with this. After the military suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968, Czechoslovakia, whose reforms were thus quashed by Soviet Union, was ruled by socialist normalization. The blood of the invasion’s victims soon soaked into the earth and attempts at active opposition turned into passive resistance and artistic metaphors. Even demonstrative movements like Charter 77, whose leaders included playwright Václav Havel, did not gain significant public support. Normalization created ‘normal’ citizens, whose aims included a ‘normal’ life.  A country where “yesterday” meant “tomorrow” was born.

In the Czech Republic and Around the World


The band Queen is formed; the medical field starts doing colonoscopies; Alexander Solzhenitsyn wins the Nobel Prize for literature; USA celebrates Earth Day for the first time; the first tunnel under the Pyrenees is completed; the rocket motor-powered "Blue Flame" reached speeds over 1,000 kph on the bottom of a dried up lake in Utah; the first earth-guided robot, Lunochod 1 from the Soviet Union, takes its maiden voyage on the moon’s surface.