The Corning Museum of Glass is a one-of-a-kind institution dedicated to the history, science, and art of glass. With over 50,000 objects spanning 3,500 years of glassmaking history, the museum attracts over 400,000 visitors annually. However, there are some surprising facts about this museum that many people may not know.
The museum offers glassmaking demonstrations, classes, and workshops for visitors to learn about the art and science of glassmaking. It also has a team of conservators who specialize in restoring and preserving glass objects.
This article will explore one of the most surprising facts about the Corning Museum of Glass.
1. The Largest Glass Museum In The World
The Corning Museum of Glass is the largest museum dedicated to glass worldwide. It has a collection of more than 50,000 glass objects, including ancient, contemporary, and glass from around the world. The museum also features a glassmaking studio where visitors can watch glassblowers create works of art.
2. World’s Largest Collection Of Contemporary Glass Art
The Corning Museum of Glass has the world’s largest collection of contemporary glass art, with over 10,000 pieces. The collection includes works by some of the most important artists in the field, such as Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, and William Morris.
3. The Museum Has A Library Dedicated To Glass
The Rakow Research Library is the world’s largest library dedicated to glass. It has a collection of over 400,000 items, including books, journals, and photographs, and an extensive collection of glassmaking archives.
4. Glassblowing Classes
The museum’s glassmaking studio offers glassblowing classes for visitors of all ages and skill levels. Participants can learn how to make everything from paperweights to vases under the guidance of experienced glassblowers.
5. Collection Of Glass Eyes
The museum’s collection includes over 1,000 glass eyes used to produce prosthetic eyes in the 19th and 20th centuries. The eyes were made in a wide range of colors and sizes to match the needs of individual patients.
6. Collection Of Tiffany Lamps
The museum has a collection of over 200 Tiffany lamps produced by Tiffany Studios between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The lamps are known for their intricate designs and use of colorful stained glass.
7. Collection Of Glass Tools
The museum’s collection includes over 6,000 glass tools, including blowpipes, molds, and cutting tools. Glassmakers used these tools throughout history to create various glass objects.
8. Collection Of Glass From Ancient Rome
The museum has a collection of glass objects from ancient Rome, including drinking vessels, perfume bottles, and oil lamps. These objects provide insight into the glassmaking techniques used by the ancient Romans.
9. Collection Of Glass From Ancient Egypt
The museum also has a collection of glass objects from ancient Egypt, dating back to 1500 BCE. These objects include beads, amulets, and vessels and provide insight into the use of glass in ancient Egyptian society.
10. The Museum Has A Collection Of Glass From China
The museum’s collection includes a wide range of Chinese glass, including snuff bottles, vases, and figurines. Many of these objects were produced during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912).
11. The Museum Has A Collection Of Glass From India
The museum’s collection includes glass objects from India, including Mughal glass and South Indian glass. These objects provide insight into the use of glass in Indian society.
12. The Museum Has A Collection Of Glass From The Islamic World
The museum’s collection includes many glass objects from the Islamic world, dating back to the 8th century. These objects include vessels, lamps, and other decorative items and provide insight into the use of glass in Islamic art and culture.
13. Glass Restoration Services
The museum has a team of conservators who specialize in restoring and preserving glass objects. They use various techniques to repair and restore damaged glass and offer advice on how to care for glass objects at home.
14. Hosting Of An Annual Glass Festival
The museum’s annual GlassFest is a celebration of glassmaking, featuring demonstrations, workshops, and exhibitions by glass artists from around the world. The festival attracts several visitors every year and is a highlight of the museum’s calendar.
15. Glassmaking Residency Program
The museum’s residency program provides artists with the opportunity to work in the museum’s glass studio for a period of up to one month. The program is open to artists working in all mediums and offers the chance to experiment and collaborate with other artists.
16. The Virtual Tour
For those unable to visit the museum in person, the Corning Museum of Glass offers a virtual tour, allowing visitors to explore the museum’s collection from the comfort of their homes.
Watch this video for a quick tour of The Corning Museum of Glass:
17. Glassmaking Demonstrations
The museum’s glassmaking studio offers daily demonstrations, allowing visitors to watch experienced glassblowers create works of art in front of their eyes. The demonstrations are a popular attraction and provide a fascinating insight into the art of glassblowing.
18. Collection Of Glass Portraits
The museum’s collection includes several glass portraits created using a technique called pâte de verre. It involves creating a mold of the subject’s face and filling it with glass paste, which is then fired to create a detailed, lifelike portrait.
19. The Museum Has A Collection Of Glass Musical Instruments
The museum’s collection includes several glass musical instruments, including flutes, trumpets, and violins. These instruments were created using a range of glassmaking techniques and are a testament to the versatility of glass as a material.
20. The Museum Has A Collection Of Glass Paperweights
The museum’s collection includes over 3,000 glass paperweights dating back to the 19th century. These paperweights were created as desk accessories and were prized for their intricate designs and vibrant colors.
The Corning Museum of Glass is a fascinating institution with a rich history and an impressive collection of glass objects worldwide. From ancient Roman glass to contemporary glass art, the museum offers something for everyone.
Its glassmaking demonstrations, classes, and workshops provide a unique opportunity to learn about the art and science of glassmaking. Whether visiting in person or taking a virtual tour, the Corning Museum of Glass is an experience not to be missed.