The art of selling glass

Imagine your eyes were made of peapods, your nose a pear. In the 16th century, Italian painter and portraitist Giuseppe Arcimboldo represented the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II with just such features. Sometimes known as the “grandfather” of Surrealism (a 20th century cultural movement that married two worlds: fantasy and reality), Arcimboldo used non-human elements, such as fruits, vegetables, animals, and food, to represent the human body. In the 17th century, French engraver Nicolas de Larmessin picked up where Arcimboldo left off. Best known for his serious depictions of French nobility, Larmessin is also known for his series Les costumes grotesques et les métiers (which translates to something like “fanciful trade costumes”). These engravings portray men clad in the tools and wares of their trades. In the 18th century, German engraver Martin Engelbrecht created a similar series, Assemblage nouveau des manouvries habilles (new clothing of tradesmen outfitted in their own works and tools). These prints also depicted individuals dressed in items associated with their profession. Surrealist artists of the 20th century, such as René Magritte, put their own stamps on the imaginative representation of human form in works such as The Difficult Crossing II (1926).

The Rakow Research Library offers several exciting examples of glass-related professions depicted in this centuries-old style, including three late-18th century engravings by Larmessin: Habit de Marchand miroitier lunettier, Habit de verrier fayencier, and Habit de vitrier.

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Expanding Horizons 2017

The 2017 Expanding Horizons class

Now in its third year, Expanding Horizons is a week-long intensive class at The Corning Museum of Glass, in partnership with the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation, for the top students in at-risk glass art programs around the United States. The outreach program includes airfare, lodging, and meals for the duration. The itinerary blends instruction, touring the collections with curators, a visit to the Rakow Research Library, a meeting with a prominent collector, a discussion about preparing an artist’s portfolio, and a presentation on applying to college with a focus on glassblowing.

The students in the 2017 class — Santiago Aguilera (Chicago), Nia Fairley (Chicago), Taquita Pendelton (Chicago), Tanner Martin (Tacoma), Jeremiah Brown (New Orleans), Dantrell Blake (Chicago) — were busy from 9 to 9 on most days as we attempted to cram in as much information and technique as we could. The students not only worked in the hot shop for hours each day, they also toured the museum and the library, met with our museum buyer, the editor of Glass Quarterly, a local independent glass worker, a glass scientist, and many more.

Students Jeremiah and Nia creating a bit monster in The Studio.

Photo by Allison Duncan

Students Jeremiah and Nia creating a bit monster in The Studio.

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Dr. Karlyn Sutherland named 2017 Rakow Commission Artist

The Corning Museum of Glass has named Dr. Karlyn Sutherland, a Scottish emerging artist, as the recipient of the 32nd Rakow Commission. She is known for evocative sculptures, fused wall pieces and site-specific installations that explore the emotional power of place.

Dr. Karlyn Sutherland, 2017 Rakow Commission Artist. Photo provided by the artist.

Dr. Karlyn Sutherland, 2017 Rakow Commission Artist.

Originally trained as an architect, Sutherland describes her work in glass as an extension of the sensibilities and skills she honed as an architectural designer. Her autobiographical work “is a reaction to vivid memories and intangible qualities of significant moments,” she says. “Each piece aims to evoke architectural space and atmosphere, distilling and communicating the essence of an experience.”

“One of the things that drew me to Sutherland’s pieces initially was how hard they were to capture in photographic media,” says Susie J. Silbert, curator of modern and contemporary glass. “I was intrigued by what it might mean to have work that stretched our perceptions so far that you couldn’t comprehend it just by looking at a representation. Her pieces need to be seen in person to be fully understood—they appear like the digital world popping into the physical world.” Read more →

The Gallantry of a Mud Angel

This post comes from Alaina McNeal, the Public Services Outreach intern at the Rakow Research Library.

On the night of November 4, 1966, water poured through the streets of Florence, Italy. Buildings collapsed from the bottom up, compressed air in basements caused the ceilings to buckle, and the first floors of buildings collapsed downward. The surge of water brought mud and oil from destroyed storage tanks, covering the city in a slippery mixture. Amidst all the damage that resulted from the flood were more than two million books and archival collections.

Photo of two "Mud Angels" standing next to heavilg damaged books

Two Mud Angels and damaged papers by Nicholas Swietlan. Swietlan Nicholas Kraczyna: Painter/Printmaker.

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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 →