In January 2008, we took a trip to Corning, NY, to visit the illustrious Museum of Glass in Corning. We spent over four hours there, and that wasn’t nearly enough! Here are some of the highlights of our trip.
Upon first walking in, were were assaulted with a carnival-like atmosphere of gift shops, small display stands, and a wonderfully noisy Rube Goldberg machine. The museum is divided into several sections: gift shops; a museum of modern glass art from the school/factory on site; a huge museum of the history of glass and glass-making (this section was my favorite); a large science and discovery lab where you could experiment and handle the displays (popular with the kids); and a theatre area where you could watch shows of Corning artists blow glass and explain the process.
This was one of many modern glass pieces. The detail of the chess pieces is amazing. All of it is glass!
These are clunky 4th century Europe glass chalices.
Compare the clunky 4th century chalices with these refined Greek chalices, crafted 400 years previous to them:
Art does reflect the culture, doesn’t it?
This is a shot of us entering the discovery center. The kids absolutely loved it. Oh, and I loved it, too!
These are glass statues of Galileo and Isaac Newton. They are situated in front of the attempt at the largest piece of glass cast, ever. A professor at Corning, with his students, attempted the feat; the glass cracked as they were making it, though. Still, the glass is displayed here, so I suppose they got an “A” for effort.
The glass history section was my absolute favorite (I studied art and art history in school; I just love it). This is a Mesopotamian tablet that describes the art of glass making. The museum had many ancient Iranian and Egyptian glass artifacts. Glass making goes back to 3000 B.C. It is said that the Syrian-Iranian peoples discovered glass making.
This is a magnificent little video by the Museum of Glass, showing how the ancients made their small glass containers. It’s very informative!