This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving American women the right to vote. To commemorate this anniversary, The Rakow Research Library at The Corning Museum of Glass explores stories of women in the glass industry during this critical moment in history through this special blog series.
In 1900, city skylines were exploding upward. People were taking to the streets to march and organize for equal pay for equal work and a 48-hour workweek. In the first decades of the century, factories were mechanized, and the first World War wrenched able bodies from the workforce. Between 1900 and 1920 machines and cultural changes transformed American industry.
As a conservator at a glass museum, most of the conservation treatments I do are on glass, but sometimes we are faced with other, less expected materials. One of the more unusual treatments I’ve done recently was repairing the straws (dried plant stalks) of an 18th century Volta’s Straw Electroscope – an object invented by Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist, chemist, and inventor who was fascinated by electricity; interestingly the term “volt” was named in his honor.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, curiosity and experimentation around electrical phenomenon abounded. Instruments such as this one were invented to show and later measure electrostatic attraction and repulsion. When an electrically charged object (such as a balloon that has been rubbed on your hair) is moved near the conductive brass top of the instrument, electrons move freely between the top and the dangling straws, leaving both straws with either a positive or negative charge. Because each straw has the same charge, they repel each other and physically separate. Glass plays a critical role in this instrument not only because it allows us to see this separation, but also because its insulative properties make the phenomena possible by isolating the straws from the surrounding environment.
This recurring blog series will feature virtual gallery walks with staff members from The Corning Museum of Glass. Everyone at our Museum interacts with the collection in different ways depending on the job they do and the perspective they bring. Hear from fascinating people and learn about their favorite objects as they provide a virtual peek at some of the treasures in our collection—and make plans to come see them in person when we reopen! This final entry in the series comes from Amy Schwartz, Director of The Studio
Over my 25 years in the Museum family as the Director of The Studio, I have been privileged to witness so many amazing artists make their mark.
In my virtual journey through The Corning Museum of Glass, I revisit friends and recall fond memories as I encounter each of these works of art again.
Queerness is as old as humanity itself. It might not have always been recognized as such, and it certainly has not always been accepted (and we still have a long way to go on that front), but communities of Queer folk have survived throughout history, despite the prejudices, fears, and insecurities of those who persecuted them.
A couple of years ago I was happy to acquire for the Museum a wine glass, made in the Netherlands around 1800–1816 and exquisitely decorated using the diamond-stipple technique with a scene celebrating friendship.
The diamond-stipple method involved using a diamond-point to tap a design in thousands of little dots into the glass. Effects of light and shade were created by varying the density of the dots. A little bit like an impressionist painting, but wonderfully delicate and ethereal.
The Corning Museum of Glass may be closed temporarily to guests and staff alike while the COVID-19 pandemic affects our community, but that doesn’t mean the work stops. Our staff and their families have been hard at work in many wonderful ways to ensure that they are doing everything they can to protect our institution, our collections, our communities, and ourselves while maintaining our position as a world leader on glass.
Here are just a few of the things that we’ve been up to.
1. When the Museum temporarily closed to the public on Monday, March 16, 2020, and asked its staff to work from home, an assessment was made of ways that we could continue to operate and send aid to the local community. Our Operations team searched the campus and located 2,000 masks, 1,000 gloves, and some safety glasses, that could all be donated.
Are you at home and in need of new sources of inspiration? Have you already exhausted your to-do list of house projects, cleaned the kitchen multiple times, finished several books, and asked everyone you know what’s good on Netflix? Well, don’t worry, The Corning Museum of Glass has some fresh ideas for you and the whole family.
We’ve searched our blog archive for a selection of unique things you can do from the comfort of your own home while still practicing social distancing, so let’s see what’s on the agenda for today.
Perhaps it’s time you dusted off all the old Pyrex you have stored away in various cupboards and hidden in the attic and gave everything a thorough clean.
Read this blog about how to correctly clean your Pyrex collection and restore everything to its former glory. Maybe you’ll want to start baking afterward!
We are in the midst of an unprecedented moment for museums and cultural institutions across the country. With widespread closures due to COVID-19, our most direct way to reach the public is no longer a viable option. We are all doing what we can to make sure the visitors who would normally walk through our doors know that they can still engage with us from the comfort of their homes.
Currently, The Corning Museum of Glass is closed, and all scheduled classes, events, and programs are canceled until further notice. It’s vital that we do our part to promote social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19. And while you’re doing your part to stick close to home, we know you’ll be in need of some educational entertainment.
With our vast and myriad collection of online resources, we’ve got you covered.
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
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 Makefulchannel in Canada before coming to the Netflix platform worldwide later this year.