Seeing Glass in a New Light: Unlocking a Full Spectrum of Color with EnChroma Color Blind Glasses

The Corning Museum of Glass is excited to launch a loaning program for guests to enjoy the full spectrum of all that our facility has to offer. We are now proud to offer EnChroma Color Blind Glasses to guests. EnChroma’s patented glass lens technology allows people who are color blind to see more of the broad spectrum of colors that most of us take for granted.

The wonderful folks with EnChroma explain it better than I ever could: “EnChroma develops optical lens technology that selectively filters out wavelengths of light at the precise point where this confusion or excessive overlap of color sensitivity occurs.” Luckily, our President and Executive Director, Karol Wight, met a member of the EnChroma team while attending a conference. The collaboration was kismet, as an institution, we showcase the beauty and science of glass. EnChroma uses glass technology to bring color to people who live without it.

Thankfully, museum partnerships are nothing new to EnChroma. Through their Color Accessibility Program, EnChroma glasses can be found in museums, state parks, school districts, and libraries across the United States. In working with their team to bring this technology to our guests, the opportunity arose for us to host a launch event where we would invite people who are color blind onsite to try the glasses for the first time. We called for participants via our social media channels and were overwhelmed by the response, some people volunteering from as far away as Portland, OR. This enthusiasm led us to four people from our region who were willing and able to join in on the fun.

When asked what he hopes EnChroma Glasses will do for him, Mike H. (50s) from Jamestown, NY, replied: “Not sure what color my fiancée’s eyes are, so I’d like to see their true color. I would also like to see colors more clearly and see what I’m missing in the fall when the leaves change.”

Mike H. takes in the full-color range of Still Life with Two Plums by Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick (2002.4.2).

Another of our volunteers was local resident Brandon S. (18) who said: “People who know I’m color-blind pick on me in different situations. I often can’t organize things by color or do certain experiments in science because of the color blindness.” Brandon and his father Shannon S. are both color blind and they both joined us for our launch.

It was a true pleasure spending time with these folks in our galleries when we released the glasses on July 25, 2022. We spent almost 2 hours exploring the collection (and outdoors!) together. The “wows” would not stop as we explored the Contemporary Art + Design Wing. Our volunteers were asking others present what they saw and to help describe different colors as a team. Pieces with blue, purple, and red became quick favorites. Mike H. said he had never really known purple was a thing and that it had always looked like a shade of grey/blue to him. He even went so far as to say: “I have to relearn my colors!”

Shannon S. had a wonderful experience with our piece Carroña (Carrion) by Javier Perez. Shannon has visited the museum before without the help of EnChroma Glasses. “Before, when I looked at this, it was just a bunch of black glass and black birds and with the glasses on it’s a lot more meaningful.” Shannon S. is also a frequent car show attendee and the parking lot even got him smiling and saying: “The taillights are so bright red that they all look like they are lit”.

Carroña (Carrion), Javier Perez, Berengo Studio, Murano, Venice, Italy, 2011. 2012.3.33.
Carroña (Carrion), Javier Perez, Murano, Venice, Italy, 2011. 2012.3.33.

Our volunteers spent the time exploring and chatting together as they saw our collection in a way that they have never been able to see the world – in a fuller spectrum of color. I thank them all for spending time with us and helping to educate me on their experiences.

If you are color blind or have someone in your life who is, we encourage you to visit and try EnChroma glasses and experience the vibrant colors at The Corning Museum of Glass. You can borrow and enjoy EnChroma glasses during your visit as part of our mission of accessibility and inclusivity for all of our members and patrons. EnChroma glasses enable people with red-green color blindness to see an expanded range of clear, vibrant, distinct colors and enjoy enhanced detail and depth perception. Glasses are available at our Admissions Desk on a first come first served basis.

If you’d like to reserve the glasses in advance of your visit or have any questions, please email [email protected] or call +1 (607) 438 5401 to make arrangements (2 weeks’ notice required for this reservation).

We also have another new accessible offering for our guests! Sensory backpacks are available for loan from our Admissions Desk. These packs were designed for guests who may have light or sound sensitivities to utilize to fully enjoy their visit. While we hope to serve people who are on the Autism Spectrum with these packs, they are useful for a variety of guests. Inside the packs, you will find small and large sunglasses, small and large noise dampening earmuffs, fidget toys, a lap sized weighted/tactile blanket, a map marked with quiet/loud spaces, and an activity book.

If you would like to reserve a pack in advance of your visit or have any questions, please email [email protected] or call +1 (607) 438-5401 to make arrangements (2 weeks’ notice required for this reservation).

Please check our Accessibility page to learn more about the ways we make our collections enjoyable for all.

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