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.
The object from the unknown roll before flattening. CMGL 147036.
The object after flattening. CMGL 147036.
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 →
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.
A glassworker, possibly F.A. Owen, and his steam-powered glass engine. CMGL 131372.
One of the most popular steam engines of the time, the Fairy Queen was a major draw for audiences. CMGL 45696.
This is the earliest-known photographic image of a glass steam engine. The engine may be the Fairy Queen, and the man may be a member of one of the many Bohemian Troupes traveling the United States. CMGL 137821.
Read more →
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.
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 →
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
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 →