Founded in 1840 by Johann Loetz in what is now the Czech Republic. Loetz was the premier Bohemian art glass manufacturer during the Art Nouveau period from roughly 1890 to 1920. The company became known for its innovative techniques, organic forms, and bold use of color. By 1889, Loetz was one of the region’s leading glassmakers. That year, the company took first prize at the Paris Exhibition for its classic vase forms, some of which were hand-worked and deformed into swirling, organic-looking shapes like seashells, flowers, and tree trunks. Many of the pieces practically glowed thanks to their iridescent sheen from the firing and reduction techniques that were popular at the time. By 1939 the company was running out of money and in 1940 the factory burned to the ground. After the war, Loetz was nationalized and closed in 1947.