Small Worlds at The FIA
July 12 - November 11
Now – October 27, 2019
12pm – 5pm Daily
Paperweights first appeared at the Vienna Industrial Exposition in 1845 and immediately became objects of desire. In 19th-century Europe, urban populations were increasing, creating an expanding market for goods and services, stimulated by new manufacturing processes developed during the first and second Industrial Revolutions. New and inexpensive methods to produce paper, the invention of steel pen nibs, and the establishment of a national postal system all contributed to the increased popularity of letter writing. Paperweights became fashionable, beautiful, and finely constructed objects that were also functional, making them an alluring item to collect.
Today, contemporary glass artists still produce paperweights. This exhibition not only features a vast collection of historical European paperweights but also a large variety of contemporary paperweights from the FIA’s permanent collection and private collectors.