Whitefriars: That’s all folks! … for this year

This post comes from Colette Peavy and Pascual Ruiz Segura, Rakow Research Library interns working on the conservation of the Whitefriars stained glass cartoon collection over the summer of 2017, in conjunction with West Lake Conservators. Read more about this project and the collection in previous posts.

Over the past 13 weeks, we treated a total of 10 Whitefriars rolls containing 136 objects on a wide variety of materials, including cartoons, silver-gelatin photographs, wax canvases, and tracing papers. The majority of the rolls we treated were from the Eastern half of the United States, with a few from England and New Mexico. Although this is just a small part of the total Whitefriars collection, our contribution has expanded the number of conserved materials that will be digitized for use by a worldwide audience.

We ended our summer in the conservation lab with an object from an unknown roll. This is the first time in the course of the Whitefriars project that an unknown roll has been treated. We had hoped to find some clues about where this design was from, but alas, we had no such luck. (If you recognize it, let us know!) The words “Christ in Carpenter’s Shop” are written on the back of the cartoon. The cartoon was brittle and had split into many pieces. We cleaned and humidified the cartoon, and it’s now drying safely in between sheets of blotter paper.

Because this is our final post, we’d each like to share some thoughts about our internship and working with the Whitefriars collection. Read more →

Curiosity highly gratified: Six weird and wonderful things to see at an itinerant glassworker’s show

Come one, come all, to see amazing feats of glassworking! For more than 300 years, talented, traveling glassworkers entertained and educated crowds on the art, science, and skill of glassmaking, and the dizzying array of wonders that could be made completely of glass. Add in a dancing competition or a beauty pageant and the event is a guaranteed hit. Intrigued? Here are six weird and wonderful things you might have seen at one of these shows.

1. Working glass steam engines
Functional steam engines made of glass were the stars of the 19th-century itinerant glassworker’s show. Made of hundreds of small pieces, these dazzling glass engines fascinated audiences. They were both a feat of glassmaking and a method for demonstrating how steam engines functioned during a time when real steam engines powered machinery and many modes of transportation. Soon after the first engines became a hit, every traveling glassworking troupe had at least one of their own.

Read more →

Digging deep with the new assistant curator of ancient and Islamic glass

Katherine (Kate) Larson came to The Corning Museum of Glass in 2016 as a curatorial assistant, but was recently promoted to Assistant Curator of Ancient and Islamic Glass. We took time to sit down with Kate and talk about her new position and her passion for ancient glass.

Assistant curator of ancient and Islamic glass Katherine Larson.

Assistant curator of ancient and Islamic glass Katherine Larson.

Talk a bit about your job responsibilities as Assistant Curator of Ancient and Islamic Glass.
Since our institutional mission is to tell the world about glass, my personal mission within this institution is to tell the world — including visitors both online and in the Museum — specifically about ancient and Islamic glass. The ancient and Islamic collection represents some of the oldest objects in our collection, dating back 35 centuries. It includes the glass from Egypt, the Near East, Greece, and Rome: all of those great ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern empires. The collection goes as late as the end of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century, so really there’s a huge chronological scope that I’m responsible for. Read more →

Beyond Tiffany: Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary mosaics in CMoG’s galleries

This post was written by Katherine Larson, Assistant Curator of Ancient and Islamic Glass, and Alexandra Ruggiero, Assistant Curator

Entrance to Tiffany's Glass Mosaics

Entrance to Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics

If you’ve had a chance to visit our changing exhibition, Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics, you’ve likely been mesmerized by the glass mosaics on display. Louis C. Tiffany’s innovative approach to the art form produced stunning mosaics that continue to dazzle and impress. Glass workers have been making mosaics for over 2,000 years. In fact, Tiffany himself was impressed and inspired by the traditional mosaics he saw and studied on his travels, such as to the Church of San Vitale in Ravenna in northern Italy.

The Corning Museum of Glass’s collection includes examples of glass mosaics that span from the Roman period to the present day. We have highlighted some of our personal favorites here. Read more →

CMoG announces new David Whitehouse Artist Residency for Research

Former executive director David Whitehouse (1941-2013)

Former executive director
David Whitehouse (1941-2013)

The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) recently announced a new research residency program for artists, which will allow them to utilize the Museum’s resources, including the permanent collections and the holdings of the Rakow Research Library, to inform their practice. Named for CMoG’s former executive director, The David Whitehouse Artist Residency for Research will enable artists to be in residence for up to three weeks to explore materials at the Rakow Library, the world’s foremost library on the art and history of glass and glassmaking, and to use the other extraordinary scholarly resources available at the Museum, including the knowledgeable staff who work in all parts of the organization. This residency will be focused on research, whereas CMoG’s two other residencies are geared toward artists creating new work.

“This residency is the first of its kind at The Corning Museum of Glass,” said Amy Schwartz, director of The Studio, CMoG’s internationally renowned glassmaking facility. “It was inspired by the number of artists who have told us that they want to spend time at CMoG just looking, thinking, and taking advantage of all things glass that we offer.” Read more →

The Studio Announces 2017 Artists-in-Residence

Martin Janecky
February 13-March 20; Public lecture on March 9

Study of the Dia De Los Muertos, at Corning Museum of Glass 2016. By Martin Janecky.

Study of the Día De Los Muertos, at Corning
Museum of Glass 2016. By Martin Janecky.

Martin Janecky began his career with glass at the age of 13 and later explored sculpting methods in the Czech Republic. Janecky teaches and demonstrates around the world, including at The Studio. In March 2016, he was an Artist-in-Residence, during which time he experimented with opaline glass made at The Studio to further his sculptural work. The following week he was a Guest Artist in the Amphitheater Hot Shop, and created a body of work inspired by the Mexican holiday Día de Los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). Read more →

CMoG to make waves with GlassBarge

Here at The Corning Museum of Glass, our mission is to tell the world about an incredible material that captivates and excites us all—namely, glass! In order to fulfill that mission, we don’t wait for the world to come to us—although 460,000 visitors made their way to Corning last year—we take our story out into the world.

The Corning Museum of Glass Road Show in Seattle, Wash.

The Corning Museum of Glass Road Show in Seattle, Wash.

In 2002, we launched the Hot Glass Roadshow, a project that converted a semi-trailer into a fully-functioning glassmaking studio on wheels. We also transformed a standard shipping container into a studio space. This unique equipment and its small footprint make it possible for CMoG to deploy glassmaking to nearly any environment. Our first deployment was the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and, since then, our mobile hot shops have traveled the world stopping in places like Paris, Seattle, South Australia, and New York City. We’ve even circumnavigated the globe aboard Celebrity Cruises, a partnership that began in 2008, and one that enables us to tell the story of glass at sea. Read more →