Following the trail of Mr. Finn

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In the 1840s, Finn demonstrated at the United
States Hotel in Augusta, Georgia. CMGL 164968

Lawrence Finn never stayed in one place for too long. Like many in his profession, he was always on the move, traveling across the country to find new audiences. Finn was a 19th-century itinerant glassworker — a flameworker who traveled from town to town, demonstrating glassmaking and selling glass trinkets. We don’t know much about his life, but let’s take the few clues we have and see if we can find Mr. Finn.

Where in the world is Mr. Finn?
Tracking the path of someone who lived almost 200 years ago can be a bit tricky. Today some people leave a minute-by-minute trail of their lives, but a traveling demonstrator like Lawrence Finn left few lasting records in his wake. Luckily, the job that kept Finn on the road also gives us an advantage when looking for him. When he set up shop in a new location he needed to attract customers, and Finn did that by advertising in the local newspapers and distributing handbills and broadsides in the area. Sometimes the local newspaper would review his show. This paper trail gives us a fairly accurate idea of his travels. Read more →

Mosaic-making at Louis C. Tiffany’s Studios

The art of mosaic was new to Americans in the late 19th century, and the public was fascinated by the elaborate construction methods almost as much as the finished works themselves. Louis C. Tiffany capitalized on this interest and held exhibitions of both recently completed and in-progress commissions at his New York City showrooms and studios. In 1897, The New York Times reported, “It was before the incomplete glass mosaics and inlays that visitors halted longest, watching the process of construction.” One of the murals in progress that day – Heroes and Heroines of the Homeric Story, designed by Jacob A. Holzer (American, b. Switzerland, 1858-1938) and installed at Princeton University, New Jersey – illustrates the labor-intensive and collaborative process of making a mosaic.

Frieze, Heroes and Heroines of the Homeric Story, 1896–1897.

Frieze, Heroes and Heroines of the Homeric Story, 1896–1897. Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, designed by Jacob Adolphus Holzer (American, b. Switzerland, 1858–1938). Glass mosaic. Alexander Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey. Photo: The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York

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Donor Profile: Sue Schwartz

Sue Schwartz

Sue Schwartz has been a longtime friend to the Museum, generously supporting programs at The Studio that foster learning, creativity, and talent in emerging artists. After her husband, Tom, passed away, Sue began looking for ways to get more deeply involved with a material that had become an integral part of both their lives: glass.

Tom worked his way up through what was then Corning Glass Works and became a plant manager, first in Greenville, Ohio, then in State College, Pennsylvania. Sue obtained a degree in music from Oberlin College and had dreams of playing the French horn in a symphony orchestra, but at the time, the only female member of an orchestra was the harpist. She decided to teach instead, and when they moved to State College, she attended Pennsylvania State University to get her doctorate in architectural history. Read more →

Whitefriars: Meet the 2017 conservation interns

Read more about this project and the collection in previous posts.

Each summer, the Rakow Library hosts interns who help conserve the Whitefriars stained glass cartoon collection. The collection consists of 1,800 rolls with an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 cartoons, which Whitefriars employees used as working drawings when assembling stained glass windows. The interns flatten, clean, and repair the cartoons so they can be digitized and made available to the public.

During the first two years of this project, interns conserved cartoons for windows installed around the world and around the corner from Corning, N.Y. They also visited several locations that featured Whitefriars stained glass to put the cartoons they treated in context.

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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 →

Corning Museum of Glass Unveils 2016 Rakow Commission by Thaddeus Wolfe

Stacked Grid Structure by Thaddeus Wolfe

Stacked Grid Structure
Thaddeus Wolfe (American, born 1979)
Made in United States, Brooklyn, New York, 2016
Mold-blown glass with brass inclusions
2016.4.9, 31st Rakow Commission

The Corning Museum of Glass unveiled Stacked Grid Structure, this year’s Rakow Commission by Brooklyn-based American artist Thaddeus Wolfe.

Wolfe creates multi-layered, highly-textured, angular mold-blown vessels, sculptures, and lighting fixtures. Stacked Grid Structure, like Wolfe’s other objects, was made by blowing glass into a one-time-use plaster silica mold cast over a carved Styrofoam positive. Creating his molds in this way enables Wolfe to force the material into structures that are at odds with the fluid nature of molten glass.

Stacked Grid Structure is the perfect artifact of its time,” said Susie Silbert, curator of modern and contemporary glass. “A bold and inventively made object, it bridges craft, design, and art in its production, conception, and ambition, exemplifying the blurred boundaries that make contemporary glass such an exciting field today.” Read more →