The first session of an educational and networking collective of people interested in American-made paperweights, old and new, will be held March 31, 2012 at the Museum of American Glass in West Virginia (MAG) located at 230 Main Street in Weston. The American Paperweight Circle is not a club, for it will not collect dues or have officers. Rather it is a forum for paperweight enthusiasts to share educational information, learn from one another, learn about paperweight makers and offer opportunities to interact with and purchase weights from dealers and manufacturers. In short, the Museum seeks to promote collecting and appreciation of American-made paperweights. The event is free and open to the public.
Inspiration for the Circle was prompted by the October 2011 closing of the Degenhart Paperweight & Glass Museum in Cambridge, Ohio and the subsequent relocation of over 650 mid-western weights to MAG which already had several hundred. The combination of these collections now makes one that ranks with the Bergstrom, Corning and Wheaton museum collections for variety and quality of American paperweights. Five cases hold this amazing display of small art with dazzling color. The strength of the collection, for now, lies largely in the 20th Century Ohio Valley production from Ohio and West Virginia with examples from Indiana, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Texas and more.
This first time event, which has already stirred interest from New York to California, begins with sales and exhibits from 10 a.m. to noon, then affordable lunch on-site (reservations required), and programs and net-working in the afternoon. Set-up for sale or exhibit by makers or dealers is free, but tables must be reserved in advance. Call Sharon at the Museum noon to 4 p.m. any day except Wednesday or Sunday, 304-269-5006, for table or lunch reservations as well as lodging information or other questions.
The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia is open daily Memorial Day through Labor Day noon to 4:00pm. The balance of the year the museum is open daily noon to 4:00pm and closed on Wednesday and Sunday. Admission is free. It is easily accessible off I-79 exit 99 onto US 33 West for two miles to Main Avenue. A left turn onto Main and the museum is on the left at 230 Main Avenue. Begun in 1992, the museum relocated to its present location in 2007 and occupies 12,000 square feet with over 12,000 pieces of glass on permanent display. The museum is home to the National Marble Museum and The American Flint Glass Workers Union Archives. The museum holds an annual marble festival and numerous special exhibits throughout the year. More information can be found at http://magwv.com/. Questions about programs or the museum can be directed to 304-269-5006.