These beautiful paperweights with embedded miniature gardens are all made of glass. They were created by New Jersey-based artist Paul Joseph Stankard, who is considered the father of modern glass paperweights. A pioneer in the studio-glass movement, Paul Stankard has established an international reputation for interpreting nature in glass with his floral art.
For the first ten years of his work career, Stankard worked as a glassblower making scientific instruments for various chemical laboratories. He started producing glass paperweights in his garage while working in industry to support his growing family. It was when Stankard displayed his early paperweights at a craft exhibit on the boardwalk of Atlantic City, New Jersey that Reese Palley, an internationally respected art dealer, saw his work and sponsored Stankard financially to move full-time into making glass art.
In the early 1960s, paperweights made by other American paperweight makers showcased brightly colored "crafty" type flowers that were not botanically accurate. Stankard labored to make his glass floral designs look more natural and botanically lifelike. His glass flowers were so real looking that many people mistakenly thought that he had found a way to encase actual flowers in glass.
Stankard, who is now an internationally acclaimed artist, is largely credited with changing the status of glass paperweights from that of "craft" to that of "fine art". His work is represented in more than 60 museums around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Louvre in Paris.
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