The Corning Museum of Glass has appointed Kelly Conway as its new curator of American glass. A specialist in nineteenth and early twentieth century American glass, Conway will be responsible for managing the Museum’s renowned American collection.
Conway has been the Carolyn and Richard Barry Curator of Glass at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA, since 2007. There, she curated exhibitions focused on the museum’s glass collection including Tiffany Treasures from the Chrysler Collection, Cheers to Queen Victoria: British Glass from the Chrysler Collection, Cameo Performances: Masterpieces of Cameo Glass from the Chrysler Collection, and managed two loan exhibitions, Art of Glass 2: Contemporary Glass Among the Classics and Green Eye of the Pyramid. She was a key member of the team that worked to establish a hot glass studio at the Chrysler Museum in 2011. A publication she has co-authored, Glass at the Chrysler Museum, is expected to be released in late 2014.
In 2012, she organized the Glass Studio Visiting Artist Series, a rotation of five exhibitions featuring live demonstrations in the Chrysler Museum’s glass studio with artists including Benjamin Moore, Dante Marioni, Janusz Pozniak, Debora Moore, John Miller, Einar and Jamex de la Torre, and April Surgent. She has also been leading the interpretation and installation of the new glass collection gallery at the Chrysler as part of the museum’s renovation project.
Conway lectures extensively on the history of glass, and serves on the board of directors of the National American Glass Club. She is a member of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass and the International Council of Museums Glass Committee.
“Kelly will be a dynamic addition to our staff,” said Karol Wight, executive director of the Museum. “She has been a friend to us for many years as curator of glass at the Chrysler Museum, and her recent experience in planning a new glass gallery and in building a glass collection will be an asset to us. We are looking forward to her bringing her experience and expertise to Corning.”
Conway received her M.A. in History of Decorative Arts from the Parsons School of Design and the Smithsonian Associates, and her B.A. in American History from DePauw University.
She will begin her appointment at The Corning Museum of Glass in September 2013.
The American glass collection represents the history of glass production in the American colonies and the United States from the 18th century to present. Of the Museum’s permanent collection of nearly 50,000 objects, 18,700 form the American collection. The objects range from rare pieces hand-blown in the earliest factories, to mass-produced canning jars and bottles made in the second half of the 19th century, to art glass and cut glass pieces made in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and pieces made by contemporary glass artists in 2012. Collection highlights include the wares of great American glass manufacturers, such as the New England Glass Company of East Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Libbey Glass Company in Toledo, Ohio.