Corning Glass Museum isn’t just a local landmark in a small town upstate NY.
It is THE MUSEUM of GLASS and I won’t be mistaken to say the biggest and the best one in the world.
I’ve been to famous Murano Glass Museum and frankly anticipated and expected much more of it. It was a bit of disappointment: small, cramped, more about chemical compounds and history of making (for all professionals interested) than masterpieces to admire. And a few visitors wondering and looking for something to fill expectations.
This weekend we made a 4 hour drive to Corning for the second time. (Not an easy task if I mention two exhausting hours in the line on the US/Canada border.)
Corning Museum of Glass –CmoG is absolutely unique institution world wide known in artisan glass making community and glass fans. It won’t be an exaggeration to call it a Glass Art Mecca. The worlds leading glass museum and a research center. Hundreds of thousands visitors yearly come here to learn and admire.
Established in 1950 on the base of Corning Glass Works factory founded in 1851, the museum soon separated into a non-profit entity and since then steadily growing and expanding despite all hard times and even natural disasters like 1972 flood, which left a thousands of library and glass treasures to be painstakingly restored.
Today the modern glass building houses the vast collection of glass masterpieces dated from ancient Egypt and Rome to nowadays, from many regions traditionally famous for glass making and less known.
CmoG library collects every printed word about glass in many languages, so far there are about 400 000 entries. The museum became a research , teaching and practicing center with fantastically equipped studios, where the best artisans come to teach master classes and share new technics with aspiring glass makers.
The building itself is an architectural gem of exposition , which exhibits and displays various collections, fun installations, family friendly touchscreen stations and visuals in the very best interactive way possible. There’s an open demo studio with scheduled glass blowing shows. Fantastic!
Spacious and soft lighted there’s no a single right angle, only curves and ramps between two levels. Very clever layout and great interior design.
Exhibits are wonderfully grouped and carefully curated, lovingly preserved and accurately described. The collection isn’t frozen solid. We found it quite different from the last year, themed in other way.
This is a magic travel in time through the glass and a very entertaining one.
And like through the mirror I decided to reflect backwards starting with modern glass. The variety of forms, shapes, textures and colors, the mastery of glass artists is astonishing.
These delicious fruits the size of a giant beach balls look so fresh and juicy.
I wish everyone a lovely week.
*All images copyright Natalie Rapoport