Karol Wight: Highlights from a Decade at the Museum

To mark 10 years with The Corning Museum of Glass, President and Executive Director Karol Wight looks back at some of the most memorable moments of her tenure.

“Last year marked my tenth anniversary with the Museum,” Karol said, “and I am irrevocably changed by the experience. From the opening of our award-winning Contemporary Art + Design Galleries to shepherding this institution through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, I am endlessly inspired by our creative and dedicated staff, our breathtaking collections, our depth of scholarship, and our pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement.”

Karol Wight at the Museum in 2021.

2011

The 60th anniversary of CMoG

“The Museum was celebrating an impressive 60 years as the world’s largest glass museum when I joined the institution in 2011 as Executive Director and Curator of Ancient and Islamic Glass. While it was an adjustment to move family and career from California, I was instantly and warmly welcomed by Museum staff, Members, and by the greater community”

2012

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Studio Glass Movement

2013

Co-curating the exhibition Life on a String: 35 Centuries of the Glass Bead

Karol leading a Members-only tour of the exhibition Life on a String.

2014

The Corning Incorporated and CMoG collaboration for the inaugural Specialty Glass Residency featuring artist Albert Paley

2015

Opening of the Contemporary Art + Design Wing; and curating Ennion and His Legacy: Mold-Blown Glass from Ancient Rome

“I stepped into the expanded role of President and Executive Director of the Museum in January 2015, leading the organization through the final planning and implementation of the expansion that resulted in the award-winning Contemporary Art + Design Galleries and Amphitheater Hot Shop in the former Steuben factory footprint—a testament to the vision of teams across the institution. And if that weren’t momentous enough, I had the opportunity to curate an exhibition on Roman glass that I had wanted to do for more than 20 years. It was so gratifying to bring Ennion to life for our visitors.”

Karol and other dignitaries at the opening of the CAD wing in 2015.

2016

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Studio and welcoming the Glass Art Society to Corning for their annual conference

2017

The popular exhibition Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics, exploring one aspect of the genius of Louis Comfort Tiffany

2018

Travelling New York State with GlassBarge and the reinstallation of the Crystal City Gallery

GlassBarge launch in Brooklyn.
GlassBarge launch in Brooklyn.

2019

Redefining the landscape of contemporary glass with New Glass Now

2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and closure; publishing our institutional Equity Statement

“Nothing could have prepared us for the unprecedented closure of the Museum due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In the past two years, I have been more impressed than ever by the resiliency and ingenuity of the Museum staff, and our steadfast pursuit of the excellence that is the hallmark of our institution, as we further our mission to inspire people to see glass in a new light.”

2021

Continuing our recovery from COVID-19; opening the much-anticipated exhibition In Sparkling Company; and celebrating the UN announcement that 2022 would become the International Year of Glass!


This article was originally published in Issue 39 of Gather magazine (Winter 2022). Gather is published two times annually for Members of The Corning Museum of Glass. It is just one of the many benefits enjoyed with Membership. To learn more about becoming a Member, please visit our website.

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