The leaves are changing from green to orange, the glass pumpkins are fully on display: fall is here at the Museum!
With fall comes one of our favorite virtual events: #AskACurator Day, where folks from around the world can ask museum professionals questions about their work. This year, #AskACurator Day fell on September 15 and we were lucky enough to have all of CMoG’s curators available to answer questions on Twitter.
Meet the curators:
- Dr. Katherine Larson, curator of ancient glass
- Dr. Christopher (Kit) Maxwell, curator of early modern glass
- Alexandra Ruggiero, curator of modern glass
- Linnea Seidling, assistant curator
- Susie J. Silbert, curator of postwar and contemporary glass
You can check our Twitter for all the questions our team answered, but we thought we’d highlight a few of our favorite questions and elaborate on some of our answers.
Maxwell: “My colleague, Dr. Katherine Larson, trained as an archaeologist and has shown me just how much we can learn from fragments (design, technology, trade, and so much more).”
Silbert: “The work of Toshichi Iwata + his children. This is killer work! Active throughout the 20th century, the Iwatas’ contribution to international Studio Glass is robust, but definitely doesn’t get enough love in the US.”
Larson: “This glazed wall plaque from a ziggurat in Iran! It doesn’t look like much now but would have been bright and shiny more than 3,000 years ago.”
Ruggiero: “I absolutely love this box in the form of a glass furnace that holds two scent bottles. Even though it’s on view, it’s such a small object that it tends to be overlooked.”
Seidling: “I find this Pyrex ‘Bake-a-Round’ really funny and I think museums can always use more humor in their galleries.”
Silbert: “Zach Puchowitz, Hot Rod Derby Car #2! An amazing work and the second cannabis pipe (aka functional glass) to enter our collection!”
Seidling: “One new acquisition is this railroad signal lens. It may be a humble object, but it’s beautiful and tells a lot of interesting stories.”
Maxwell: “One of the more recent acquisitions in the early modern collection is this small sword, currently on display in our exhibition, In Sparkling Company.”
Larson: “This glass pendant with a gilded silver mount. It’s a masterpiece of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship.”
Ruggiero: “A recent acquisition to our modern collection are these mold-blown glass bricks. The design is considered the first commercially successful structural glass for use in architecture.”
Larson: “Our amazing team of preparators! I can be a bit klutzy – not a good thing in a glass museum! They handle all the artwork with phenomenal skill and precision.”
Seidling: “One unique thing about working at CMoG is that we have colleagues who are glassmakers. I had such a great time this summer collaborating with the Hot Glass Demo Team on a series of live stream demos.”
Maxwell: “Our Advancement department. Fundraising in support of a museum’s mission has never been more important.”
Silbert: “So hard to limit it to just one group – my work relies on folks from throughout the Museum. BUT, one team that is always helping me out and doesn’t often get attention is the registrars. They have amazing, detailed knowledge!”
Ruggiero: “Our architecture!”
Silbert: “The 200″ disk isn’t part of my collection at the Museum, but it’s the most inspirational object. Hands down! It shows the power of imagination, the perseverance of glassmakers, and the desire to understand who we are in the context of the universe.”
Larson: “I love all the spaces across our campus where glass is made. It’s such a privilege to be able to see glassblowing every day.”
Maxwell: “The Rakow Research Library on our campus is a world-class research library with everything a glass curator could possibly need, right here in Central New York.”
Seidling: “There’s a tree right outside of the Museum that is the first in town to change colors in the fall. When I’m ready for fall, if that tree has started to change colors, it’s a sure sign fall is around the corner.”
We couldn’t resist asking a question of our own about glass in other museum collections! It was fascinating to see the variety of glass in other museums and the similarities to our own collection. From commemorative glass pieces to obsidian blades to glass recovered from shipwrecks, the material can be found in art, history, science, and design museums across the globe.
Thank you to everyone who asked such fantastic questions for #AskACurator Day! It’s always our pleasure to participate as part of our mission to inspire people to see glass in a new light.