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History: Celebrating 60 Years ..................................................Page 5


60th Birthday Open House: Schedule of events ......................Page 9


Directors and tribute to Tom Buechner ..................................Page 10


Favorites from the Collection ................................................Page 12 The Library: A Treasure Trove Open to the Public ..................Page 15 Tourism: 28 Million Visitors Over 60 Years..............................Page 16 Hot Glass Programs: Telling the World about Glass ................Page 18 The Studio: Internationally Renowned Glassmaking School ....Page 19 Community Programs: Something for Everyone ..................Page 20 2011 Exhibitions ....................................................................Page 22 Reflections..............................................................................Page 27 Getting Involved ....................................................................Page 27 Museum Underwater: 1972 Flood..........................................Page 28 The 200-inch Disk: Mirror to Discovery ..................................Page 30

SPECIAL THANKS TO: The Staff of The Corning Museum of Glass

The Leader The Leader is published daily at: 34 W. Pulteney Street Corning, NY 14830 by Gatehouse Media, Inc. 607-936-4651 • PUBLISHER: Dennis Bruen ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: Kurt Bartenstein

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HISTORY: It was 1950, and Corning Glass Works was approaching the centennial anniversary of glassmaking by its founding family, the Houghtons. As company executives brainstormed ways to mark the date, Arthur Houghton, then president of Steuben Glass, suggested establishing a center that would celebrate the material that had made the company successful. According to a 2007 oral history with the Museum’s founding director, Thomas S. Buechner, Houghton said, “Let's mark our 100th birthday by giving something back…We have prospered, we employ a lot of people, we really built this town, and let's say thank you. Let's not celebrate ourselves. Let's celebrate the material that made it possible.”


A Gift to the Nation and a Community Treasure

And so Corning built a “gift to the nation:” the Corning Glass Center, which opened on May 19, 1951. Described in its original souvenir book as a facility that featured a museum of glass, a glass library, exhibits about glass for the home and science and industry, and an opportunity to see Steuben Glass being made, the Corning Glass Center offered visitors the opportunity to learn about the history and art of glass, admire glass artifacts, and watch master glassmakers at work.

The Museum and its library were established as not-for-profit educational organizations, with a mission to collect, preserve and display glass artifacts and materials. The original collection numbered 2,000 and the Library was contained in a small room inside the Museum. Over the next few decades, the staff of the Museum actively built the collection and conducted research, building an international reputation. The Museum curated groundbreaking exhi-

bitions like Glass 1959 (the first exhibition to explore contemporary art in glass), and established highly respected journals like New Glass Review and The Journal of Glass Studies. The Glass Center and the Museum made Corning an international destination, drawing hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. But it was also a center and source of pride for the local community. Changing exhibits brought new ideas to explore, Museum programs provided families with unique learning experiences, and musical and theatrical performances offered after-hours entertainment. A popular event was Corning Summer Theater, which opened in the Glass Center auditorium in June, 1951. In the early years, women wearing hats and gloves and nattily dressed men attended touring performances starring celebrities such as Eve Arden and Bert Lahr. In 1953, the organizers

The Corning Glass Center included the Steuben Glass factory. Visitors could watch gaffers at work creating this high-end crystal. introduced a resident company, which won acclaim from critics and audiences alike. The curtain came down on Summer Theater in 1991, after a run of more than 40 years. In 1972, a flood devastated the entire region, including the entire Glass Center complex. The Museum’s galleries and Library stood under five feet of water. When the waters receded, some objects were broken, many were encrusted with mud and the library was devastated. With the aid of other Museums and support from Corning Glass Works and the local community, the Museum was able to reopen within six weeks.

The original Museum occupied space inside the Corning Glass Center complex, in a building designed by Wallace K. Harrison.



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Thomas S. Buechner, the Museum’s founding director, on left, 1950s. Buechner helped build the original collection and set the direction for the Museum.

Lampworker Pat Keeler fashions lab ware, 1950s.

1950 - 1952

The original collection numbered 2,000 objects. Arthur Houghton and New York’s Governor Thomas E. Dewey in the galleries, 1951 or 1952.

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CMOG: 60 YEARS OF GLASS By the end of the 1970s, the Museum’s collection was so big that it needed a building of its own. In 1981, the addition of the Gunnar Birkerts building, which adjoined the south side of the Glass Center, was built to showcase the collection in a facility that rose above the flood line. In September, 1996, Corning Incorporated began a major renovation project to prepare for another big celebration: its 150th anniversary. An ambitious five-year plan was fundedand managed by Corning Incorporated, which has continuously supported the Museum’s operating budget since 1951. During the renovation, the Museum and the Glass Center became a single entity, the Rakow Research Library moved to a new building behind Corning’s “B” Building, and a glass-

PAGE 7 making school, The Studio, was created in the north end of “B” Building. The science and technology exhibits were redesigned to focus on innovations in glassmaking throughout the industrial age. Not surprisingly, many of those innovations celebrate local stories, such as the discovery of the first low-loss optical fiber. Addressing one of the most popular features of a visit to the Museum, facilities were built to house a new Hot Glass Show, where visitors could experience the art of glassblowing through live, narrated demonstrations. The Museum officially turns 60 this week. This gift to the nation now includes the world’s finest collection of glass numbering more than 45,000 objects, the world’s foremost library on glass and an internationally respected

The Museum’s Library originally sat at the heart of the gallery, and has always been open to the public.



glassmaking school. Last year, nearly 400,000 international and local visitors came to the Museum.

The 200-inch disk, created by Corning Glass Works, has been a icon of the Museum since the day it opened. Pictured here with Arthur Houghton and New York’s Governor Thomas E. Dewey.

The Glass Center, including the Museum, was a great asset for the community. Live music and theater were performed regularly in the auditorium.

The impact of the Museum’s scholarship and research in glass is felt throughout the world through exhibitions, curator lectures, publications, hot glass programs on the road and at sea, and continually expanding online resources. For the community, The Corning Museum of Glass remains a cultural center and a source of pride.

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Surrounding schools and families benefit from free admission for kids and teens, community members look forward to free artist lectures and 2300° events, and local organizations regularly rent the Museum’s facilities to host their own events. Want to share in the celebration of this extraordinary community treasure? Visit the Museum’s during its 60th Birthday Open House this Thursday, May 19. Admission is free all day, and the Museum is open until 8:00 p.m.

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Celebrate the Museum’s 60th birthday with free admission, special activities & new exhibits!

■ The day kicks off with a parade of vintage Chevrolets at 9:00 a.m. Cars will begin lining up at the Museum's Welcome Center (I-86 parking lot) at 8:30 am. Arrive there early that morning, and you may get to ride to the Museum's entrance in a vintage Chevy. Corning’s East High School’s brass section will herald in the parade. ■ Be the first to see the Museum’s major 2011 exhibition, Mt. Washington and Pairpoint: American Glass from the Gilded Age to the Roaring Twenties, opening that day. ■ Explore the recently reinstalled Contemporary Glass Gallery. ■ Celebrate with a complimentary

60TH BIRTHDAY OPEN HOUSE Thursday, May 19 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. cupcake, made by Walker Cake Company and Poppleton’s Pastries, both in Corning’s Gaffer District. ■ Take a docent-led Highlights of the 60 Favorites Tour, featuring stops across the campus that highlight favorite objects or stories about the Museum’s history (11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4:00 p.m.). You can also explore these stops on your own. ■ Receive a 60th commemorative pin as your admission tag. ■ Enjoy live music in the Admissions Lobby (Ed Clute, 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; Bill Gudenrath, 11:00 a.m. –

12:00 p.m.; Steve Bender, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.). ■ Watch special Hot Glass Shows and glass demos (last show begins at 7:00 p.m.).

■ Stop by Museum Explainer carts throughout the galleries from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to learn more about the collection. ■ Make Your Own Glass vase ($40;

age restrictions apply). Additional projects are available for all ages and the workshop will be open ‘til 8:00 p.m. for the day. ■ Take a tour of some of the rarest books at the Rakow Research Library and their newest exhibit, Mirror to Discovery. Watch a video of Scott Kardel’s Meet the Astronomer lecture, recorded at the Museum on March 24. The Library will remain open until 8:00 pm so everyone can have a chance to explore their collections.



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MUSEUM EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS Thomas S. Buechner (pictured right)

1951 – 1960 and 1975 – 1981 Pictured left from top to bottom:

Paul N. Perrot 1960 – 1972

Robert H. Brill 1972 – 1975

Dwight Lanmon 1981 – 1992

David Whitehouse 1992 – present

Officers of the Board James B. Flaws Chairman of the Board

E. Marie McKee President

Amory Houghton Jr. Vice President

James R. Houghton Vice President

Denise A. Hauselt Secretary

Linda Jolly Assistant Secretary

Mark S. Rogus Treasurer

Robert J. Grassi Assistant Treasurer

David B. Whitehouse Executive Director

Board of Trustees Roger G. Ackerman* James R. Houghton Peter S. Aldridge Thomas C. MacAvoy* Van C. Campbell* E. Marie McKee Dale Chihuly Carl H. Pforzheimer III Patricia T. Dann Carlos A. Picón James B. Flaws Helmut Ricke John P. Fox Jr. Mark S. Rogus Ben W. Heineman* Antony E. Snow Amory Houghton Jr. Wendell P. Weeks Arthur A. Houghton III Ian McKibbin White James D. Houghton David B. Whitehouse * Trustee Emeritus

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IN MEMORIAM Thomas S. Buechner Founding director, Thomas S. Buechner, passed away June 13, 2010, after a lifetime of involvement in the arts. Buechner was appointed director of the Museum in 1950, six months before its public opening. Trained as an artist and working at the time as an exhibition designer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, he moved to Corning, developed a worldclass glass collection and library, and led the institution to its public opening on May 19, 1951. Buechner established the Museum's academic journals, New Glass Review and The Journal of Glass Studies (both still published today) and curated the groundbreaking exhibition, Glass 59, the first exhibit to explore international works in contemporary glass. Buechner left the Museum in 1960 to become director of the Brooklyn

Museum (1960–1971), and returned in the mid 1970s as director of the Corning Museum. He then became president of Steuben Glass in 1972, and helped to found the Rockwell Museum in Corning in 1976, serving as its president for 10 years. He was also an independent artist, and a mentor to many aspiring artists in the community. Throughout the years, Buechner remained an active Member of The Corning Museum of Glass, and served as a Trustee until his death. “Tom was a true inspiration, as the Museum’s founder, an artist, a mentor, and a friend,” says Marie McKee, the Museum’s president. “Without his devotion to this Museum, we would not have the world-class institution you see today.”




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FAVORITES of the Collection

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, The Corning Museum of Glass has identified 60 objects, ideas and locations in the Museum that are favorites of its visitors and with the local community. You can explore all 60 stops throughout the Museum, or check out the full list and vote for your favorite online at

CASCADE WALL George Thompson; Steuben Glass Corning, NY • 1958–1959 The heart of the Museum is its amazing collection spanning 35 centuries of glassmaking history. Here are a few of the favorite objects in the collection.



Dale Chihuly Seattle, WA 2000

George Woodall; Thomas Webb and Sons England, Amblecote • 1898

THE CORNING EWER Islamic, possibly made in Western Asia or Egypt About 1000

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MEGAPLANET Josh Simpson New Haven, Connecticut 2006

INNERLAND Eric Hilton Corning, NY • 1980





Egypt About 1450–1400 BC

Karen LaMonte Czech Republic • 2004



Harvey K. Littleton Spruce Pine, NC • 1984

Louis Comfort Tiffany Corona, NY • 1905



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A Treasure Trove Open to the Public

The Juliette K. and Leonard S. Rakow Research Library of The Corning Museum of Glass is the world’s foremost library on the art and history of glass and glassmaking. Its mission is to acquire everything published on the subject of glass, in every format and in every language. The Library’s collection includes publications in more than 40 languages, and half of its books and periodicals are in languages other than English. These holdings range in date from a 12th-century manuscript to the latest biographies of contemporary glass artists. The Rakow Library also is often included as part of school field trips; for instance, local third-graders are introduced to “Glass and our Community” through activities at The Studio and Rakow Library every year. The Library also hosts exhibitions showcasing materials from its collec-

tion. Currently on view through October 30 is Mirror to Discovery: The 200-Inch Disk and the Hale Reflecting Telescope at Palomar, which tells the story of the 200-inch disk that has been a centerpiece of the Museum since its opening in 1951. The most surprising news to locals? The Rakow Library, located right on the Museum’s campus behind Corning’s “B” building, is open to the public, no appointment necessary, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. A reference staff is available to assist visitors, and the Library offers a variety of services, including interlibrary loan, group tours and educational sessions, and access to online resources. The Library will offer guided tours of the Mirror to Discovery exhibit during the Museum’s 60th Birthday Open House on May 19. That day, they will also present viewings of the Meet the

The Rakow Research Library collects everything it can that has been published on the subject of glass. The collection includes glassmakers’ notebooks and archives, such as this notebook of Frederick Carder, former design director of Steuben Glass.

Astronomer: Scott Kardel lecture that was recorded at the Museum on March 24 of this year. Would you like to play a role in the archiving of glass information? Call 438-5300 to secure your spot at the Library’s Oral History recording session during the 2011 GlassFest, which takes place Memorial Day weekend.

Among the collection are original design drawings, like this 1822–1825 design for a stained glass library door by John LaFarge.



TOURISM: 28 Million Visitors

Over 60 Years Since it opened in 1951, The Corning Museum of Glass has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Last year alone, nearly 400,000 visitors came to the Museum and visitation is already strong in 2011.

The largest number of visitors arrive from New York State, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, from distances within a day’s drive. Local and regional traffic also accounts for a large portion of the Museum’s visitation.

Between 25–30 percent of the Museum’s visitors come from international markets like Taiwan, India, Canada, Israel and Germany. The second most commonly spoken language at the Museum is Mandarin Chinese, and the Museum accommodates this key audience by translating its gallery guides and Hot Glass Show narrations accordingly. Many international visitors arrive via group tours. The average visitor spends four hours in the Museum. The free shuttle bus,

SUNDAY | MAY 15 | 2011 The Museum attracted more than 400,000 international visitors in 2010. The Museum translates its Hot Glass Show and gallery guide into Mandarin to accommodate a large number of Chinese visitors.

SUNDAY | MAY 15 | 2011 which has been offered by the Museum for many years, encourages visitors to spend time in Corning’s Gaffer District. Many stay overnight in the region, patronizing local restaurants and stores. The Steuben County Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that the average tourist spends $210 per day locally. The Museum also focuses on keeping admission affordable to provide an attractive outing option for all ages. Free admission is offered to kids and teens, 19 and under, and a variety of discounts are available to seniors, students, military personnel, and AAA members. Those who live in the 148, 149, and 169 ZIPs pay a discounted resident rate of $6. This summer, Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Museum will also participate in the Blue Star Museum program, offering free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families.

CMOG: 60 YEARS OF GLASS Summer is the busiest season for the Museum, so from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Museum is open until 8:00 p.m., seven days a week. Tourists who want to be outdoors in the beautiful Finger Lakes region during the day find The Corning Museum of Glass to be an excellent evening activity. The Museum’s double-decker shuttle bus in the 1980s brought Museum visitors to downtown Corning. Today, The Corning Museum of Glass continues to run a free shuttle, bringing visitors to the Museum’s front door, to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, and to Market Street in Corning’s Gaffer District.




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HOT GLASS PROGRAMS: Telling the World about Glass

Carl Siglin, Chris Rochelle and Michael Ruh demonstrate glassblowing at the Hot Glass Show on Celebrity Equinox. Ask visitors about their trip to The Corning Museum of Glass and, in addition to talking about the stunning collection, they’ll likely recount their fascination with watching glassmakers at work. When the Museum was renovated in the late 1990s, it established the Hot Glass Show: live, narrated glassmaking demonstrations presented in front of visitors from around the world. Audiences receive an entertaining and

educational look at live glassblowing, with a narrator providing step-by-step descriptions of the process and answering visitors’ questions. In a little over a decade, the Hot Glass Show has become a prolific ambassador for the Museum, appearing not only on up to three stages at the Museum (most filled to capacity, especially during the summer), but also on Celebrity Cruises, and at art fairs, museums and other events around the globe. In 2001, The Corning Museum of Glass conceived of and built a portable hot shop that could travel all over the world. The Hot Glass Roadshow has been to fine arts venues in Australia and throughout the United States, including the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. This year, it will travel to Seattle in June for the Glass Art Society annual meeting, and to the Midwest in the fall for the Sculpture Objects & Functional Art (SOFA) fair in Chicago.

Designer Wendell Castle with Museum glassmaker at GlassLab in June 2010.

In 2007, the portable hotshop was used to host a new design program called GlassLab. The program provides designers with rare access to a glassmaking hotshop, enabling them to better understand glass as a design material. The Museum has worked with top designers around the world over the last four years. This summer, the Museum will present GlassLab at the Vitra Design Museum outside Basel, Switzerland, during Art Basel, one of the premier art and design fairs. It will also host two design workshops at Domaine de Boisbuchet, a design retreat center in Lessac, France. Today, the Hot Glass Show can also be found on three of Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class ships. Launched in 2008, the Hot Glass Show is presented on the top deck of Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Eclipse, which cruise Europe, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Each ship sees about 100,000 guests per year, who consistently rate the Hot Glass Show as one of the top entertainment venues. Adjacent to the Hot

Annette Sheppard is one of the gaffers at the Hot Glass Show, which is now seen around the world. Glass Show is a small exhibit that introduces guests to The Corning Museum of Glass and the Finger Lakes region. Many of the cruise guests go on to interact with the Museum directly, whether by visiting, taking a class, or exploring more about the Museum and the region on the Internet.

In 2001, the Museum developed a mobile version of its Hot Glass Show, which has traveled around the world.

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Internationally Renowned Glassmaking School

The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass is an internationally renowned teaching facility that offers glassmaking classes in a variety of skill levels and techniques, taught by glassmaking artists and instructors from around the world. “The Studio has two main goals,” says its director, Amy Schwartz. “We are an international resource for artists working in glass, and we are also an artistic resource for the region.” About 1,000 international and regional students take the more than 100 courses offered each year during oneday, weekend, ten-week, and one- and two-week sessions. Course prices are kept as low as possible to offer broader access, and The Studio offers scholarships to many of its students. With the goal of providing an immersive experience, The Studio handles as many details as possible so students can focus on their classes. The Studio offers Wi-Fi access and a photography room for students to document their work. For one- and two-week intensive classes, The Studio even makes arrangements for lodging and for most meals (catered with food from area restaurants).

A variety of courses are offered in all techniques, including beadmaking.

Glassblowing courses are offered throughout the year, many by world-renowned artists.

Hotshop and flameworking rentals are also available, allowing artists to make their own work without incurring the cost of running their own hotshop. Artists come from all over, but most of the rentals are by local artists.

and Adrianne Evans will present lectures on November 18.

Each year, The Studio also supports four to six month-long residencies. Artists range from local to international, and each one provides a free lunchtime lecture during the course of their residency. The next lectures will take place in the fall. Min Jeong Song and Amie McNeel will present lectures on October 26, and Veronika Beckh

This summer, The Studio has several new programs available, including live streams of two artist demos (visit for details) and a Beginning Glassblowing and Flameworking class for Teens, offered August 8 – 12. Call 607.438.5100 for details or to register.

Beth Lipman was The Studio’s April Artist-in-Residence. Each year, The Studio supports four to six artists with a full month residency.



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Something for Everyone

From the cover of the March 1959 Junior Curators’ Newsletter, Junior Curators with George McCauley, the Corning physicist and engineer who oversaw the casting of the 200-inch disk. The Junior Curators program has run continuously since 1958.

In addition to being an international attraction, The Corning Museum of Glass is also center for the local community. From its early years, the Museum has provided programs for local families. One of the longest running programs is the Junior Curator program, established in 1958. The Junior Curator program was originally offered to elementary students. A 1967 article in The Leader says the students “…play an important role in the schools. They act as links between the Museum and their school by carrying back information…and sharing their experiences with students and teachers.” Like many in the community who participated, Cheri Anglehart Crozier who was part of the 1967 group of Junior Curators, fondly remembers her experience, “It was a

wonderful opportunity and remains a treasured memory to this day.” The Junior Curators learned from Museum staff, published a newsletter for their schools and gave tours. Donna Gardner Liljegren recalls, “I was selected to tour Mercury Astronaut Scott Carpenter through the Museum. Astronauts were god-like heroes to all of us and I remember standing near him as our small group stood next to the space capsule in the Museum exhibit. I don’t remember being able to talk. I’m sure I wasn’t breathing.” The Junior Curator program continues today, now aimed at giving local high school students a behind-thescenes understanding of how a museum works. Teens apply to participate, and the students learn from, and interact with, curators, conservators, librarians and other staff. They curate their

SUNDAY | MAY 15 | 2011 own exhibition, on view in The Studio for Museum visitors to see (this year’s Junior Curators’ exhibition opens June 10). The Museum also now offers a number of additional new programs for teens, including the Museum Explainers program. Visit for more information. Another longstanding public program is the Student Art Show, which

CMOG: 60 YEARS OF GLASS has run for more than 40 years. Tens of thousands of area schoolchildren have had their works displayed in this annual event held at the Museum. As a part of the Student Art Show, the Museum also grants scholarship money to two area high school students who intend on studying art in college. Today, the Museum continues to provide programs and events for local

2300° is one of the most popular event series today at the Museum. The next 2300° takes place Thursday, May 26, to kick off the 2011 Corning, NY GlassFest.


families and professionals, almost all of them provided free of admission. Little Gather performances are presented every Wednesday morning in July and August, and Families Explore events are offered once a month during the school year. For adults, free Meet the Artist lectures offer glimpses into the inspirations and viewpoints of artists represented in the Museum’s collection. And, for more than 10 years, the community has enjoyed one of the Museum’s most popular event series: 2300°, filled with live music, food and glassmaking demonstrations. Free Little Gather storytelling sessions and performances take place every Wednesday morning in July and August.

Here’s a schedule of public events for the remainder of 2011: Details at *** May 26 2300°: GlassFest June 10 Junior Curator’s Exhibit opens June 23 Meet the Artist: Dennis James July 6 – August 24 Little Gather (Wednesday mornings) September 18 Families Explore: Ancient Rome September 23 Family Night October 16 Families Explore: Science October 20-22 50th Annual Seminar on Glass November 9 Meet the Artist: Klaus Moje November 17 2300° November 20 Families Explore: America December 3 & 4 Holiday Open House December 15 2300°



2011 EXHIBITIONS Masters of Studio Glass: Toots Zynsky Now through January 29, 2012 Toots Zynsky’s distinctive filet de verre (glass thread) vessels enjoy a widespread popularity and deserved acclaim for their often extraordinary, and always unique, explorations in color. Defying categorization, her pieces inhabit a region all their own, interweaving the traditions of painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. East Meets West: Cross-Cultural Influences in Glassmaking in the 18th and 19th Centuries Now through October 30, 2011 This stunning exhibit explores influences in glassmaking that resulted from cultural exchange between the East and West, and documents stylistic developments in Western Europe and E. Asia during the early modern period.

Mirror to Discovery: The 200-Inch Disk and the Hale Reflecting Telescope at Palomar Now through October 30, 2011 The production of the 200-inch disk was a landmark achievement in telescope technology. This exhibit tells the story of this innovation, the role of Corning Glass Works in its manufacture, and the disk’s place in the history of scientific discovery. Mt. Washington and Pairpoint: American Glass from the Gilded Age to the Roaring Twenties May 19 – December 31, 2011 This exhibit celebrates the work of one of America’s longest-running art glass companies, Mt. Washington Glass Company of New Bedford, MA, and its successor, the Pairpoint Corporation. Explore the company’s creativity in texture, decoration, pattern, and color

through 160 beautiful objects. Founders of American Studio Glass: Harvey K. Littleton and Dominick Labino November 17, 2011 – January 6, 2013 Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Studio Glass movement with two exhibitions highlighting sculpture and vessels in glass by Harvey K. Littleton and objects by—and archival materials belonging to—Dominick Labino. These artists introduced glass to studio artists at two experimental workshops at the Toledo Museum of Art in 1962. This Thursday, May 19, The Corning Museum of Glass opens its newest exhibition, Mt. Washington and Pairpoint: American Glass from the Gilded Age to the Roaring Twenties.

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REFLECTIONS Do you have a memory of the Museum to share? Post your “Reflections” online. Visit to find out how to share your memories, post directly to the Museum’s Facebook page, or email Excerpts from recent posts: Janet Irwin Nordfors “I remember visiting on a tour in the mid 60's…I was completely entranced, and I wouldn't move along with the group. I sat on the floor and refused to move. I told my dad that someday I would make glass. Before he passed away he encouraged me to take a lampworking class. It changed my life.” Lenore Lewis “Back in the summer of 1951, my Father surprised us with a long road trip to a place called Corning, New York...During our visit I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to work in this museum when I grow up!’ …When my fiancée told me that he had been

CMOG: 60 YEARS OF GLASS offered a job with a company called The Corning Glass Works, it brought back all my memories of that enjoyable trip to the Glass Center when I was a little girl. I came to Corning as a bride and spent quite a bit of time touring the Center on my own. When the opportunity arose for me to become a Docent at the Corning Museum of Glass, I jumped at the chance and I've never regretted that decision.” Bruce Sacavage “As a 3rd grade teacher in Pennsylvania, I bring up 4 students every spring to witness the wonders of glass and experience all that CMOG has to offer. Our trips up to Corning have been filled with wonder for these kids, the majority of them having never been to the museum.” Patti Crandall “My husband stopped at CMOG on the way to NYC last winter and made a heart for me in the "Make Your Own Glass Experience". He gave it to me for Valentine's Day! Could anything be more romantic? It holds a very special place in my heart...”


GETTING INVOLVED... Volunteers at the Museum are diverse: they represent all ages, have all different levels of experiences and have many different reasons for getting involved. But, it’s clear that they make a difference. In 2010, docents (volunteer guides) and volunteers donated 9,833 hours of their time to help The Corning Museum of Glass. More than 250 volunteers gave tours, helped in the offices, ushered at events and worked in the Library.

Interested in volunteering? Find out more by contacting If you don’t have time to volunteer, but would like to support The Corning Museum of Glass in other ways, consider becoming a Member. Membership fees provide valuable support to the Museum’s education programs and to scholarship funds at The Studio. For more information, visit



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The 1972

MUSEUM UNDERWATER: FLOOD In June of 1972, disaster struck as tropical storm Agnes emptied a week's worth of rain into the surrounding Chemung River Valley. The river overflowed its banks and poured five feet four inches of floodwater into The Corning Museum of Glass. When the waters receded, staff members found glass objects tumbled in their cases and crusted with mud, the Library's books swollen with water, and offices ruined. At the time, Thomas Buechner, then director of the Museum, described the flood as "possiThanks to the tremendous efforts on behalf of Museum staff and volunteers, The Corning Museum of Glass reopened on August 1, 1972, just six weeks after the flood.

The entire Glass Center complex was submerged in five feet four inches of floodwater when the Chemung River overflowed in June 1972.

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The entire Rakow Library was devastated, books and papers swollen with water and covered with slime. bly the greatest single catastrophe borne by an American museum." Museum staff members were faced with the tremendous task of restoration: every glass object had to be meticulously cleaned and restored, while the Library's contents had to be

cleaned and dried page by page, even before being assessed for rebinding, restoration, or replacement. Hundreds of people, from local children to specialists from all over the world, came to the Museum’s aid, lugging silt-covered debris; hosing down

furniture; sifting mud for fragments; making lists; taking inventory; and washing, testing, diagnosing, wrapping, readying, and repairing glass objects. Conservators from many other museums came to Corning. With the aid of a large refrigerator truck, Library staff freeze-dried documents until they could be cleaned. On August 1, 1972, the Museum reopened with restoration work still underway. It was four years before the Museum completely restored the glass collection and the Library. Museum Under Water, published in 1977, details the Museum’s restoration efforts. A PDF of the book is available at You can also watch a video about the Museum’s flood on the Museum’s YouTube channel at

Volunteers and conservators came to the Museum to help the process of drying and cleaning Library papers.

PAGE 29 seumofglass. 2012 will mark the 40th anniversary of this devastating flood. Do you have a flood story? The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes is working on a project for the 40th anniversary of the flood. Call 1 (866) 598-7273 and leave your story as a voice message. The ARTS will record the stories and archive them at local libraries and historical societies.



THE 200-INCH DISK: In 1928, astronomer George Ellery Hale wanted to build the world’s largest telescope at Palomar Mountain in California—a research instrument that would allow scientists to view the skies as never before. The creation of the largest single piece of glass ever made was entrusted by Hale in 1929 to Corning Glass Works using their signature Pyrex®. George V. McCauley, a Corning physicist and engineer, set about achieving what engineers at other companies had failed to do: casting a 200-inch mirror blank. The largest mirror at that time, which was installed in the Hooker Telescope at Mount Wilson, CA, measured 100 inches. In March 1934, Corning poured a 200-inch disk, but part of the mold broke loose during the pouring, ruining the blank. McCauley decided to

continue with the annealing process as an experiment. That imperfect disk has become an iconic object in the collection of The Corning Museum of Glass. It has been suspended in the same spot for 60 years, since the Museum opened to the public in 1951. The second attempt at pouring was successful, and after a year’s annealing time, the disk was finished and taken by train to California. The disk traveled upright on a padded railroad car for more than two weeks. The train travCorning watches as the disk is loaded onto the train to begin its cross-country journey. March 26, 1936. Photograph by Ayres A. Stevens, Corning Glass Works.

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Mirror to Discovery

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PAGE 31 A ladle of molten glass on its way to the mold, 1934. Photograph by Ayres A. Stevens, Corning Glass Works.

Workers painting the shipping crate to hold the disk. Photograph by Ayres A. Stevens, Corning Glass Works.

eled only by daylight and at speeds not exceeding 25 miles per hour. It made numerous stops along the way, with much fanfare in each city where it stopped. The creation of the disk, and its journey across an economically depressed nation, captured the public’s attention. Famed radio commentator Lowell Thomas called the pouring of the disk “the greatest item of interest to the civilized world in 25 years, not exclud-

Corning Civic Observatory Museum in what is now Centerway Square possibly in 1948. The disk was displayed here for a number of years.

ing the World War.” The disk remained at Caltech’s optical shop in Pasadena, CA, for the painstaking process of polishing and grinding. Progress on the disk slowed as the nation became involved in World War II, but the disk was finally installed in 1948 in the Palomar Observatory, where it remained the world’s largest effective telescope until 1993, aiding in the discovery of quasars and the first known brown

dwarf star. The telescope is still in use, although bigger telescopes now exist at places like the Keck Observatory in Hawaii. An exhibition currently on view at the Museum’s Rakow Research Library through October 30, Mirror to Discovery, features photographs, memorabilia, and other selected historic materials from the collections of the Library, as well as reproductions of photographs from the California

Institute of Technology. The exhibition and the Library are open to the public, free of charge, Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. You can also hear a recent lecture given at the Museum by Palomar astronomer Scott Kardel at The lecture will also be shown at the Library as a part of the Museum’s 60th Birthday Open House on May 19, and tours will be offered of the exhibit.



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Corning Museum of Glass 60 Years  
Corning Museum of Glass 60 Years  

CMOG 60 Year anniversary published 5.15.11