I remember hearing the sound of rain hitting the roof of the Amphitheater Hot Shop on a Monday morning in March, but the atmosphere inside was anything but dreary. There was a lot of excitement, especially when the Hot Glass Team filled a child-sized swimming pool and placed giant wooden molds into the water. They were clearly doing something very different from our regular glassmaking demos.
Over the course of those wet, cold days in March, the Hot Glass Team worked with American artist Virginia Overton to realize her visions in glass. Known for her site-specific and sculptural work which often incorporates found materials, Overton was at The Corning Museum of Glass to do something truly special: develop glass components that would be used in her installation at the 2022 Venice Biennale. Those components? Giant pink bubbles in glass!
It has been 30 years since the Museum published a volume dedicated to glass from Asia, so we are thrilled to announce the publication—thanks to the support of the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation—of Shelly Xue and Christopher L. Maxwell’s Asian Glass: Selections from The Corning Museum of Glass!
You already may be familiar with the most recent volumes of the Museum’s Selections book series, which have transported readers to both the far and more recent past.
This latest volume in the series will also take you back in time as well as around the globe, with stories of more than 50 fascinating objects from the Museum’s Asian glass collection, illustrated with striking full-color photographs. Each entry contains detailed object information and contextualizing commentary about production, design, culture, and trade. The research is cutting edge, and many of the pieces are published here for the first time.
Virginia (Jinny) Wright joined the Rakow Library staff in 1969 and during her 30+ years of service was a tireless advocate for library collections, facilities, staff, and services. She was one of the first Museum staff members onsite after the flood of 1972 submerged most of the library collections and was instrumental in applying new conservation practices to the salvage of the water-logged materials.
Mountmaking is the process of designing, fabricating, and installing the structures (called mounts, brackets, or armatures) that safely support collection objects and artifacts while they are on exhibit. I learned how to make mounts while working as an Exhibit Fabricator in New Mexico and I have now worked at The Corning Museum of Glass for two years.
For the Museum’s major exhibition this year, Past | Present: Expanding the Stories of Glass, the Curatorial team asked the Collections Management team for several mounts to be made. Objects may be mounted for many reasons and the mounts in this exhibition were to make certain objects stable and secure and to hold them in a preferred orientation.
In this blog, I will talk about some of the objects from Past | Present and the mounts that I made for them.
It has been over three years since the phenomenal launch of Blown Away on Netflix and now we’re back for Season 3! Joining host Nick Uhas and resident evaluator Katherine Gray, are 10 new contestants all competing to be crowned Best in Glass and awarded the coveted Blown Away Residency at The Corning Museum of Glass.
Join us as we check in with this season’s glassblowers to find out what makes the show so special.
What expectations did you have going into season 3?
“In all honesty, I didn’t expect to go as far as I did, especially with the all-star lineup they had this Season.” Trenton Quiocho – Tacoma, Washington (IG: amocat_lowlife)
Lino Tagliapietra may be retiring, but not before one final visit to The Corning Museum of Glass. Last weekend was a monumental one for Lino, the glassblowers and staff at the Museum, and all the guests who filled the Amphitheater Hot Shop to see the Maestro at work during what will be his final performance in Corning.
To celebrate Lino’s enduring legacy, we asked those lucky enough to know and work with him, to describe the impact he has made on the glass world. To no surprise, the response was fervent and unanimous: Lino’s impact is, and will always be, extraordinary!
As the world’s foremost glass museum, we often entertain some interesting ideas—but perhaps the wildest one yet was a call we received two years ago from Red Bull. “We’d like to have a stunt motorcyclist drive around The Corning Museum of Glass—kind of like a ‘bull in a china shop.’” Sure, it would have been easy to see the impossibilities in that simple concept. We’re a glass museum! Motorcycles and glass absolutely do not mix. But… could they? Often, it’s the out-of-the-box ideas that yield the biggest rewards. And so, we embarked on an exciting collaboration that culminated in a video released today on Red Bull’s channels.
Red Bull athlete and stunt motorcyclist Aaron Colton was engaged to create a custom-built, all-electric bike for this unique exploration of our galleries and hot shop. Colton’s Bike Builds series is a staple of Red Bull’s offerings, and this episode would follow his journey of not only building a type of bike he hadn’t built before—during a global pandemic, no less!—but would show the effort it takes to turn “no”s into “yes”s. Too many times, an exciting idea comes about, and it stops in its tracks because a location can’t accommodate a traditional, combustion motorcycle complete with fuel and noise. Colton and Red Bull would literally be creating a way to turn ideas into realities.
It seems obvious to say it out loud, but we see glass everywhere these days. Funny, right?
For centuries we’ve thought about glass as something to be looked through but not seen. The cleaner the window, the clearer the uninterrupted view. Or glass is utilitarian to the point of invisibility. After all, it’s about the wine and not the vessel; it’s our reflection, not the quality of the mirror that is important. Often—if glass does its job correctly—it goes unnoticed, working not to draw attention to itself but to instead bring everything else into sharp focus.
But that’s not necessarily true anymore, and perhaps never was. Glass has long been changing the game. From early obsidian tools to revolutionary advancements in modern science and technology, from the Venetian masters to the American Studio Glass movement and beyond, glass has been a trusted tool and commodity, shaping cultures on almost every continent. Whenever the proverbial “lightbulb moment” happened, glass has transformed and illuminated the world we live in, right up to and including the COVID-19 pandemic, during which optical fiber was essential to keeping people connected virtually and Valor® glass vials have delivered life-saving vaccines to millions across the globe.
For America, the 1950s was a decade of highs and lows. In the wake of the second world war, the nation experienced a booming economy, a rapidly growing population, and watched as its cities and suburbs spread across the land to house a new generation. But the 50s were also the dawn of new conflicts, including the Cold War and the fight for Civil Rights.
In the spring of 1951, five people witnessed the unfolding of this new America from the small galleries and offices of the newly opened Corning Museum of Glass. Those five made up the entire staff back then! Conceived as an educational institution entirely separate from its benefactor, Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated), the Museum sought to expand the world’s understanding of glass. And ever since, the Museum has inspired people to see glass in a new light, a mission that remains at the forefront of our institutional culture 70 years later.
To celebrate the Museum’s 70th anniversary, we’ve taken a trip through the archives to highlight some unforgettable moments.
The lightbulb. Pyrex®. Optical fiber. The catalytic converter. Gorilla® Glass. Valor® Glass. You’ve likely heard of most of these revolutionary innovations in glass, all of which came out of Corning, NY. And although the last one may be unfamiliar to you now, it’s about to serve a very significant purpose: housing and transporting the life-saving vaccine for COVID-19.
Corning Incorporated has been on the cutting edge of glass innovation for nearly 170 years, providing solutions to problems and shaping the way we live our daily lives. It’s a company many across the world have never heard of, however, nearly everyone has interacted with technology developed here in this small town of 11,000 people.
Although you likely don’t realize it, Corning’s technologies have played a role in how we’ve adapted to the COVID-era from the beginning. Never before has there been such an intense need to remain connected while we’re apart. And how have we done that? By interacting with each other through glass displays and transmitting all communications with co-workers, loved ones, and others, via optical fiber. We are literally connected by glass, and so it’s somehow unsurprising—yet immensely remarkable—that Corning’s technology is also on the frontlines of the fight against the virus itself.