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Glass Within Glass: Exhibit reveals how Trabucco Studio creates exquisite paperweights

A new exhibition at The Burchfield Penney Art Center on the SUNY Buffalo State campus reveals the process, precision and popularity involved in making paper weights.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Victor Trabucco of Clarence, New York, is known for his astonishing art glass paperweights. They are recognized internationally for their beauty, innovation and technique. His glass objects contain colorful re-creations of flowers, butterflies and lizards encased in crystal. The Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State [www] is presenting an exhibition of Trabucco’s artistry now through Sunday, October 29. 

Trabucco's Work in Spotlight

Trabucco paperweight with butterfly

An item featured in the exhibition "Glass Within Glass: The Magic Of the Trabucco Studios".

It is Glass Within Glass: The Magic Of The Trabucco Studio – The Paperweight Artistry Of Victor, Jon, and David Trabucco. More than 40 works by Trabucco and his sons greet visitors. The exhibition will provide the opportunity to enjoy, understand and appreciate how the Trabuccos manipulate glass.

A timeline will provide historical context about art glass paperweights and trace progression from the 1800s to present-day, through the works of the Trabucco Studio. The works in this timeline are selected from the Margaret Woodbury Strong paperweight collection. This gathering of glass is visible to the public for the first time in three decades.

Murano Leads Early Paperweight Movement

Some of the earliest paperweights were made in Murano, Italy, an island in the Venetian Lagoon in the 1840s. Pietro Bigaglia is generally accepted to be the first to exhibit what the art world calls glass paperweights, an act that culminated in the creation of what are considered to be the art form’s greatest works, made between 1845-1860 in France.

The Trabucco Studio exhibition is guest curated by Michael Calleri, a Buffalo movie critic and paperweight enthusiast. Calleri has long studied the work of the Trabuccos and the centuries-old history of paperweight traditions. He also provided the introduction for the exhibition’s brochure. As guest curator, he has lead the selection of the Trabucco Studio paperweights in the installation, as well as personally selecting more than 50 Strong collection paperweights for the historical timeline. In 2009, Calleri founded The Glass Paperweight Group [https :// /], what has become the most popular group on Facebook dedicated to paperweights; now with more than 2,400 members from across the globe. 

Trabucco Works Magic, Glass and Wood

Victor Trabucco is also a skilled magician internationally recognized for his creation of card tricks.

Inclusion paperweight

"Inclusion" paperweight, circa 2013, 10" x 10 1/2", by Victor Trabucco. (Photos courtesy of The Burchfield Penney Art Center, SUNY Buffalo State)

David Trabucco owns a fitness center in suburban Buffalo; Jon Trabucco is an accomplished fine art woodworker. 

A range of public programs are planned, including artist-led tours, studio visits, artist-led glass-working workshops and tours for school groups. 

The Strong paperweight collection is on loan from the Strong National Museum of Play [www] in Rochester, New York.

More In Store

The Burchfield Penney Art Center is dedicated to the art and vision of renowned American watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967) and the distinguished artists of Western New York State.

The museum, established in 1966 on the campus of SUNY Buffalo State, is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. In 2008, the Burchfield Penney expanded from its location in Rockwell Hall to a new $36 million freestanding facility in the heart of Buffalo’s Museum District. Designed by Gwathmey Siegel and Associates, Architects, the museum includes more than 84,000 square feet dedicated primarily to galleries, as well as education and program space and an outdoor year-round space for three screen video and sound.

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