This weekend I went to the Art Institute
for my usual
monthly perusal. As a member at the Art Institute –which I might add has been
voted the #1 museum in the world
by Trip Advisor –I pay a student membership
fee of $50 for the year. This gives me unlimited access to the museum; the
ability to bring one guest for free every time I visit; discounts in the gift
shop, café, special lectures and valet parking (although I don’t see myself
driving to the museum anytime soon); and even free hot chocolate in the winter
time in the member lounge. In my opinion, it’s definitely worth the investment.
My shameless plug for the Art Institute is for a good
reason. While I have visited the Art Institute a countless number of times
since I gained my membership my freshman year, this past weekend, I discovered
the Art Institute’s hidden gem…the PAPERWEIGHT COLLECTION.
Beauty and timelessness aren’t probably the first two words
that come to mind when you think of paperweights. But once you visit the Art
Institute’s paperweight collection extravaganza, you won’t be able to associate
paperweights with any other words. Placed in the basement of this huge museum,
you definitely have to actively search for this exhibit, but it’s worth the
The paperweights came in all sorts of colors and sizes,
which was quite interesting. Most of the paperweights came from France, however
there was also an American display of paperweights.
While viewing the display, I also learned some fun facts
- The first dated American paperweight was
produced by the New England Glass Company for the 1851 Great Exhibition in
- The modern invention of the blowtorch and the
propane gas furnace allowed individual artists to experiment with paperweight
glassworker Charles Kaziun was recognized as the first notable glass studio
Well I’m sure that you’d never thought you would know all
that information about paperweights, but they say you learn something new
everyday. Another successful trip to the Art Institute for the books!