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Foreword from the Director

Illinois State Museum
> Foreword from the Director


Foreword Morton
	 D. Barker The Collection History of Paperweights ManufacturersTechniquesRelated Objects Gallery of Paperweights Glossary of terms Paperweight Resources Search

Handpainted Paperweight
Zoom in on Handpainted Paperweight Handpainted Paperweight
Bohemia (attributed)
factory unknown, circa 1850-1900

Museums are measured by the quality of their collections. With the gift of the Morton D. Barker Paperweight Collection to the Illinois State Museum in 1976, the international significance of the Museum's decorative art collection took a giant step forward. The quality of this famous collection is renowned because many of the outstanding pieces have been exhibited at special venues along with other examples of the world's exceptional paperweights.

Stardust Millefiori
Zoom in on Stardust Millefiori Stardust Millefiori
France, Baccarat (signed), dated 1848

It was Mr. Barker's wish that his cherished collection, assembled over two decades beginning in the 1940s, be kept intact after his death. He also desired that the collection be catalogued properly and shared with others who would appreciate this unique and beautiful art medium. The Illinois State Museum accepted this charge and subsequently, through exhibition, made the collection available to the public.

Sulphide Hunter and Dog
Zoom in on Sulphide Hunter and Dog Sulphide Hunter and Dog
Baccarat, circa 1845-55

We hope this Web site adds another dimension in our attempt to observe Mr. Barker's wishes to share this magnificent collection with as wide an audience as possible. Now, one may visit the collection repeatedly and as often as desired. All of this is possible only through the generous bequest of the late Morton D. Barker. The Illinois State Museum expresses its sincere appreciation to the Barker family, especially to R-Lou Barker, for her time, enthusiasm, and assistance.

R. Bruce McMillan
Museum Director

State of Illinois
Dept. of Natural Resources
Illinois State Museum
Copyright 2002, Illinois State Museum Society