This article comes from the Paperweight Collectors' Association's Quarterly Newsletter from October 1, 2017.
New Museum Member:
Flint Institute of Arts
PCA is pleased to welcome the Flint Institute of Arts as a museum member. The FIA is Michigan's second largest Art museum and one of the largest museum art schools in the nation. The Paperweight Collectors' Association visited the FIA during the 1979 convention held in Dearborn, Michigan.
The Flint Institute of Arts' permanent collection includes more than 350 paperweights dating from 1845 to 1998. The collection presents a myriad of techniques, styles, and themes that illustrate the skill and ability of those who made them as well as their extraordinary intricate beauty.
The history of the FIA's collection began with a gift of the first paperweight from Dominic Labino in 1968. One year later, FIA patron, Mrs. Everett (Viola) Bray's daughter and son-in-law, Bertha and William Richards, gave Mrs. Bray's extensive collection to the FIA. Since then, significant gifts and museum purchases have added to the collection.
The FIA has a gallery space dedicate o presenting an overview of the paperweight collection. Adjacent to the display are storage drawers that contain the remainder of the collection. Visitors may view these weights upon request with staff assistance.
Paperweights made in the mid-nineteenth century comprise the majority of the collection. Many were produced by the three French glass houses, Baccarat, Clichy, and Saint Louis. Weights from Belgian manufacturer Val St. Lambert, as well as two English companies, George Bacchus & Sons and Whitefriars Glass, are also represented. Completing the works from the Classic era are weights from the New England Glass Company and Boston & Sandwich Glass Company.
The timeline of the collection continues into the early 20th century with weights from Whitall Tatum & Company. Early works by Charles Kasiun, Jr. and Paul Ysart are represented as well as classical style weights from Scottish firms and commemorative Baccarat sulfides. Weights from the late 20th Century round out the collection, including works by David and Jon Trabucco, Debbie Tarsitano, Bob and Ray Banford, Josh Simpson, and Rick Ayotte.
Image: Baccarat, French, founded 1764. Spaced Millefiori on Carpet Ground, 1848. Not On View. Glass. Dimensions: 2 3/4 in. (7 cm) Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Richards, 1969.75.57.