Corning Museum of Glass

In the past, I’ve enjoyed posting these sort of photo essays. (For example, there are several of them from a 2014 adventure in Colorado.) The hard part, of course, is getting somewhere and taking the photos.

Back in August, we spent a half-day at the Corning Museum of Glass, in Corning, New York. (Yes, the Corning, New York, of Corning Ware repute.) It turns out that Corning is quite the hot spot—sorry, couldn’t resist—for glass work in general. To wit:

If you’re going to make a gallery for displaying glass, this is the way to do it. More glass than not in the ceiling with hung-vertically dividers; The entire space is flooded with natural light, but you don’t see the light’s source, unless you look straight up. The ceiling is flat; the space is not rectangular.

Note the three “trees” at the far end of the room. They are not what they appear to be.

In another space, just around the corner…

Murano, as in the islands in Venice, Italy. In the top-right of that Carrion’s photo, you can see this piece…

And this sphere, for which I neglected to snap the description. It’s composed of folded ribbons of glass, and it’s appearance is the same whatever direction you look at it. There’s a bright, omni-directional light inside. The glass wall behind the piece extends the entire height of the building, not just the floor of this gallery. There’s an applique that is about half-round holes, half opaque white—so the outside world is visible curiously obscured as if by fog.

Hey, I’m pretty good at this photo essay stuff! Not. The trick it to have spectacular things to photograph. Like this iconic piece by Dale Chihuly. It’s “simply” hundreds of similarly blow glass pieces which are individually, (each has a hole in the interior end,) slid onto the countless small pins sticking out of the central armature.

In another gallery, there were countless, large cases with displays like this, where I kept going, “wat? holy crap!” (I’d make a great, R-rated, museum tour guide.)

Really. Holy crap!

Finally, I’ll leave you with this piece. (I have photos of many more, and there were thousands of things I gaped at and didn’t photograph.) This was very difficult to capture in photographs. There are two, four-legged figures inside this case. They have legs made from square-sided bottles. The two figures are similar, but not identical, and are posed marching, one after the other. I’ve taken a photo from before them, looking past them on one side and the other. The case is a size that you could put your hands on either end and is in a darkened area in the museum. There are only two figures in the case— everything else is repeated, internal reflections…

In summary: WOW.

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