Glass Worlds: Paperweights from the ROM’s Collection

Glass Worlds: Paperweights from the ROM’s Collection
  • Closed
April 28, 2007 to May 4, 2008
  • Level 3, European Rotating Exhibitions Gallery


Over 250 miniature worlds of brilliant colour and style are featured in this exhibition of spectacular 19th- and 20th-century glass paperweights. The first major exhibition of its kind in Canada, Glass Worlds features paperweights from the ROM’s collection, considered one of the finest in North America.

First made in 1840s France, glass paperweights magnified their interior, allowing the viewer to experience the intricate world within. Greatly varying in size, design, style, and colour, these glass “jewels” became fashionable during the 19th century. Despite being inexpensive to make, the technology and patterns created beautifully complex objects d’art ranging in subject matter from flowers and frogs to dioramas and commemorative photography.

Glass Worlds showcases a stunning range of paperweights, many on display for the first time, including early French and North American varieties and even contemporary Canadian pieces. The history of glassmaking, manufacturing and famous paperweight collectors will also be explored in this whimsical look at these most delicate and beautiful of everyday objects.



Available for sale in the ROM Museum Store is the illustrated catalogue, Glass Worlds: Paperweights from the ROM's Collection, written by exhibition’s curator, Brian Musselwhite. The publication highlights the Museum's collection of glass paperweights, both classic and contemporary. The publication contains 120 pages and features over 75 full-colour photographs. Regular retail price $24.99.

Authored by: Kait Sykes

Authored by: Kait Sykes