The Warmest Welcome: Frank Starr, a memorial

Frank Starr embraces Studio student and glass artist, Olga Rozin, at his home in Corning’s Northside neighborhood.

The Studio and glassmaking community lost a dear friend, Frank Starr, who passed away in October 2021. Frank opened his home and his heart to countless Studio students and artists who traveled to Corning to work and study at the Museum.

A native of Corning, Frank worked at the Museum as a Gallery Educator in the Education Department before his retirement in 2006. Frank was the inspiration for The Studio’s Fun With Glass group glassmaking program. Says Studio Director Amy Schwartz, “Frank would bring groups of school children over to The Studio from the Museum and ask if they might try things. He had such a spirit of generosity and he loved to share and exchange ideas.”

Frank’s greatest legacy, and his greatest joy, was opening his home to students and artists from all over the world. Many Studio students look for homestay opportunities as an alternative to hotels when they visit Corning, and Frank’s door was always open. He was committed to making it affordable and making it work. Carolyn Spears, who lived with him for a summer, said of Frank, He opened his doors to people from all walks of life and made everyone feel seen, heard, welcomed, and cared for.” 

During the busy Studio class seasons, he hosted guests in every bedroom—and sometimes on the couch and camping in the backyard! Lively conversations were held on his front porch and around his kitchen table. He was passionate about cooking and gardening, history, glassmaking, and his many deep and enduring friendships. 

“You could feel his sincere love, care, and interest in every person in front of him. Proudly, he collected student’s glass pieces, and very proudly he was telling stories about each and every one of them,” says Olga Rozin, a friend and guest. Frank built a community of artists who were graced with his kindness, and he will be missed. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and to his many friends. 

Frank Starr, 1938-2021

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