If you think glass sculpture is not art, think again. Works of glass are as much an art form as paintings, sculptures and photography. The glass sculptor Dale Chihuly is a prime example of this. He is to glass sculpture what Renoir was to painting and Rodin to sculpting. They all captivate the imagination through self-expression and personal vision and their works educate, enlighten and enhance our world.
While vacationing in the Finger Lakes the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance arranged for us to have a private tour of the new 100,000 square foot Contemporary Art and Design Wing of the Corning Museum of Glass. It is the largest space to house and preserve contemporary glass art.
We were bowled over not only at the artistry and mastery of the glass exhibits but also at the architectural design featuring a sophisticated light-filtering system using diffused roof skylights. The architect intended for the visitor to feel as if they’re walking on clouds, and he skillfully succeeded.
The permanent collection, recent acquisitions and large-scale works are all tantalizing to the eye. Every piece has a story to tell so the CMoG now offers Glass App, a phone app that features videos, biographies and photos to enhance the visitor’s experience.
I particularly loved the story behind this piece:
The gallery is accessible and simply fun to walk around. It includes temporary exhibits with large-scale installations such as Kiki Smith’s “Constellation.” Take a look at this video to see how “Constellation” (shown below) was installed.
After our tour with Kim was over we continued by following the easy, self-guided tour of more than 3,500 years of glass. There’s so much to see with a variety of areas to visit including showcases of glass through the years, the Glass Innovation Center with an interactive look at glass, or the Hot Glass Show that runs daily with its live-narrated hot glass demonstration.
Looking back I wish we took part in their “Make Your Own Glass” with one of their experienced glassworkers. It’s available for all ages with no experience necessary. I’ll have to schedule a session for our next visit!
If you’re staying near the Town of Corning I suggest you plan time to stroll around their charming downtown. It was lovely to see so many interesting window displays that were creative and eye-catching. I also felt a sense of calm knowing that several places offered Reiki, yoga, art therapy and massage. There were also some interesting looking restaurants and a few cute coffee shops as well.
The Corning Museum of Glass is a place we’d like to visit again and again. You can spend several hours exploring it, including a break for lunch at their light-filled Cafe that offers several dining options including an outdoor Cafe Express. From Egyptian artifacts to modern items, demonstrations and workshops there’s so much to see, learn and do.
ACCESSIBILITY: The Corning Museum of Glass is committed to making its collections, buildings, programs, and services accessible to all audiences. Designated spaces are available in the parking lots for visitors with disabilities. The Museum is accessible to wheelchair users and other visitors who need to avoid stairs, as well as the museum shuttle bus. All entrances are accessible by wheelchair and all public floors of the Museum can be reached by elevator. Wheelchairs are available free of charge at the Admissions lobby on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not available. The Museum welcomes walkers, wheelchairs (manual and electric), and scooters.
I’d like to thank Kimberly Thompson, Public Relations Specialist for the Corning Museum of Glass for her friendly and informative tour of the Museum. And once again many thanks to The Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance for arranging our visit.
NOTE: I received three free passes to the Museum. My opinions are, as always, my own.