Reflections on Apollo

The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. This historic mission landed men on the Moon for the very first time and then safely returned them to Earth to tell the tale. To honor this milestone, The Corning Museum of Glass has developed an exhibit called Journey to the Moon: How Glass Got Us There which showcases the role of glass in the lunar landing. The exhibit displays samples of the same glass materials used in the space suits (to protect the astronauts) and spacecraft (to insulate the command module), as well as a glassy lunar meteorite. But there are many other stories we didn’t have space to tell! Here are some of those lesser-known stories.

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
Buzz Aldrin walking on the Moon during Apollo 11

Many of the systems onboard the Lunar Module relied on computers and high-tech equipment, so you might not realize how critical it was for the astronauts to perform their own calculations during the lunar landing. The Lunar Module used an instrument called an altimeter to measure the altitude above the Moon’s surface. Earth-based altimeters in airplanes do this by measuring the atmospheric pressure. However, the Moon has no atmosphere, so the Lunar Module’s altimeter worked with radar. The radar altimeter solved the problem of a lack of atmosphere on the Moon, but it was unreliable for altitudes above 30,000 feet. To know how far above the Moon they were, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had to determine their altitude themselves.

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CMoG Continues its Year of Celebrating Contemporary Artists Working in Glass with Major Commissions and Artist Residencies

The exhibition New Glass Now, on view at The Corning Museum of Glass
The exhibition New Glass Now, on view at The Corning Museum of Glass

The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) is presenting diverse programming dedicated to contemporary glass and celebrating the artists and designers who are pushing boundaries in the field. Today, the Museum announced two major new commissions by artists Spencer Finch, widely admired for his exploration of phenomenological experience, and David Colton, a gifted flameworker celebrated for his sculptural, abstract glass pipes. CMoG also announced the appointment of two leading artists who will be in residence at the Museum this fall and next winter. Deborah Czeresko, the winner of Netflix’s Blown Away, will be in residence from October 14–17, as part of the prize package for the glassblowing competition series. Beth Lipman was awarded the seventh Specialty Glass Residency, a collaboration between Corning Incorporated and The Corning Museum of Glass, which will begin in 2020. The Museum will also host its 58th Annual Seminar on Glass on October 18–19, which in conjunction with the current exhibition New Glass Now, will focus on contemporary glass.

Spencer Finch Commission

In the first half of 2020, CMoG will install The Secret Life of Glass, a site-specific, large-scale installation that the Museum commissioned from renowned, contemporary artist Spencer Finch, whose multidisciplinary practice explores the beauty and complexity of everyday moments. To create this work, the Museum captured thermal images of the exterior glass curtain wall joining the Museum’s Contemporary Art + Design Wing, designed by architect Thomas Phifer, and Innovations Center over the course of one winter day. In examining the data, Finch homed in on an image captured at 4:30 in the afternoon, in which the range of temperatures experienced by the glass formed the pattern of a wave. Using this fleeting afternoon moment as his starting point, Finch translated the temperatures by assigning colors—inspired by the Sennelier palette favored by Matisse—to each four-degree temperature shift. The result is a poetic interpretation of “the secret life” of window glass as it is exposed to the interplay of sunlight and air on that winter’s afternoon. The finished 12- by 28-foot work, comprised of 16 (3- by 7-foot) fused glass panels set into aluminum framework, will be installed just inside the windows whose “secret life” they reveal. 

Spencer Finch (center) collaborating on the fabrication of The Secret Life of Glass at Bullseye Studio of Bullseye Glass Co. in Portland, Oregon.
Spencer Finch (center) collaborating on the fabrication of The Secret Life of Glass at Bullseye Studio of Bullseye Glass Co. in Portland, Oregon
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Embracing Netflix Fame: What the Blown Away Contestants Are Up To Now

Four months after the release of Blown Away, we caught up with some of the contestants to find out how their lives have changed in the wake of the hit Netflix show, and to ask… what’s next?

What has the success of Blown Away meant for you?

“I have newfound notoriety created by the success of Blown Away. This has given me an opportunity to step up to the next level in my career. The challenge is to translate that into something more permanent. Blown Away has been a springboard for me to redefine my artistic goals and work strategically on achieving them. A door has opened for my career and to continue to progress I need things that are longer-lasting like gallery shows, and a way to keep making art such as residencies. There has been a remarkable buzz too. I’ve felt so connected to my new fans, and very supported by them and their words, it’s so powerful in my life.” Deborah Czeresko – New York City, New York

Deb Czeresko working in the Amphitheater Hot Shop at CMoG during her Blown Away winners residency
Deb Czeresko working in the Amphitheater Hot Shop at CMoG during her Blown Away winners residency
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Rick Price, a legacy in print

Richard Price, the editor and head of publications for The Corning Museum of Glass announced his retirement earlier this month after serving for nearly three and a half decades with the Museum.

As the Head of Publications, Rick, as he was better known, edited editions of the Museum’s prestigious Journal of Glass Studies, Notable Acquisitions, and the contemporary glass exhibition-in-print, New Glass Review—all annual publications.

Additionally, Rick has edited exhibitions catalogs and other scholarly publications, including Glass from World’s Fairs, 1851-1904 (1986) during his early tenure, Drawing upon Nature: Studies for the Blaschkas’ Glass Models (2007), Collecting Contemporary Glass: Art and Design after 1990 (from The Corning Museum of Glass) (2014), and the forthcoming publication, In Sparkling Company: Reflections on Glass in the 18th-Century British World, a companion piece to the Museum’s major exhibition in 2020.

This small cross-section alone represents the breadth of knowledge and specialties that Rick has fixed his attention on over the years.

Rick has worked with scores of curators, scholars, conservators, scientists, and librarians during his tenure at The Corning Museum of Glass. He is widely recognized throughout the arts and scholarly communities as the go-to editor for all things pertaining to glass and glassmaking.

Respected by colleagues past and present and held in high esteem by Museum members as well as friends and family, a request for testimonials that speak to his character and extensive career was enthusiastically met by all.

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The Corning Museum of Glass Partners on Glass Competition Show Blown Away 

The Corning Museum of Glass is thrilled to share news of an exciting collaboration on the forthcoming Netflix series, Blown Away, which will bring the art and beauty of glassblowing to television screens around the world. A visually compelling process often described as “mesmerizing” and “captivating,” glassblowing has never been the subject of any major TV programming—until now.  

The art glass competition show created by Marblemedia, an award-winning entertainment company based in Toronto, Canada, Blown Away features a group of 10 highly skilled glassmakers from North America creating beautiful works of art that are assessed by a panel of expert judges. One artist is eliminated each episode until a winner is announced in the tenth and final episode. A co-production with Blue Ant Media of Toronto, Blown Away will air on the Makeful channel in Canada before coming to the Netflix platform worldwide later this year.

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The Studio announces 2019 Residencies

Today, The Studio announced the 2019 Artists-in-Residence recipients: twelve artists from around the world who will each spend one month at The Studio, researching and experimenting with new techniques to further their work. Additionally, two artists and two scholars have been selected for the David Whitehouse Research Residency for Artists and the David Whitehouse Research Residency for Scholars, respectively. These recipients will spend up to three weeks in the Rakow Library, utilizing the vast holdings to inform their practice or area of research. Each resident will provide a public Lunchtime Lecture during their time at the Museum, describing their inspirations and work at The Studio and the Rakow Library.

2019 Artists-In-Residence at The Studio

Shinobu Kurosawa & Jim Butler
February 24-March 24; Public lecture on March 14

Shinobu Kurosawa, Happy Christmas.
Shinobu Kurosawa, Happy Christmas.

Translated literally, the Japanese word tonbodama means dragonfly ball. Since 2000, flameworker Shinobu Kurosawa has been making tonbodama beads that depict traditional Japanese landscape and nature scenes in glass.

In her March 2019 residency, Kurosawa will use The Studio’s resources to continue her research on tonbodama and expand her flameworking skills as she explores new possibilities in Japanese beadmaking.

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The Corning Museum of Glass Surveys Global Contemporary Glass in Special Exhibition Opening in May 2019

Today The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) announced that 100 artists—representing 32 nationalities and working in 25 countries—have been selected to exhibit in New Glass Now, a global survey of contemporary glass and the first exhibition of its kind organized by the Museum in 40 years. The show, which will be on view from May 12, 2019, through January 5, 2020, will include works ranging from large-scale installations and delicate miniatures to video and experiments in glass chemistry, all of which demonstrate the vitality and versatility of this dynamic material.

Problematica (Foam Rock), Sarah Briland

Sarah Briland
United States, b. 1980
Problematica (Foam Rock)
United States, Richmond, Virginia, 2016
Foam, Aqua Resin, glass microspheres, steel, concrete stand
With stand: 96.5 x 52 x 45.7 cm
Photo: Terry Brown

In spring 2018, CMoG welcomed submissions of new works, made between 2015 and 2018 in which glass plays a fundamental role, for consideration by a panel comprising Susie J. Silbert, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at CMoG, and three guest curators, including: Aric Chen, curator-at-large, M+ museum, Hong Kong; Susanne Jøker Johnsen, artist and head of exhibitions at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Denmark; and American artist Beth Lipman. More than 1,400 artists, designers and architects working in 52 countries—from Argentina, Australia, Indonesia and Japan to the United States, United Kingdom, and beyond—submitted works, which draw upon flameworking, glassblowing, casting, neon, carving, and kilnworking techniques, among others. Read more →