This month, Stacey and Jen found themselves in Corning, NY — the home of the Corning Museum of Glass. Feel free to mosey on over to the blog post where we detail our trip to the Finger Lakes for TBEX North America. The purpose of THIS post is to showcase the sheer beauty of CMoG's glass collection and the eye-popping photos we took while we were there.
The first couple of days at the conference we didn't wander much beyond the gift shop that greeted us upon entering the building. Though the endless shelves of glass treasures was fabulous in and of itself, that by day 3, we felt we should probably carve out some time to check out the galleries.
Upon ascending the escalator to the galleries, I (Jen) noticed the towering Chihuly sculpture. Chihulyhas been one of my favourite artists ever since I saw an exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I let out a squee every time I see one of his pieces, and this time was no different.
The first gallery is a bright white hall that houses a collection of contemporary glass (1990 - present). Upon entering the gallery it's immediately apparent that this space, with its skylights that flood the room with natural light, has been designed with displaying glass in mind.
This 26,000 sq. ft. contemporary gallery of the Contemporary Art + Design Wing opened in 2015 and is an absolute smorgasbord of photographing opportunities. We especially loved the geometry created by the light diffusers on the ceiling.
Stacey would love for you to get married here and book her to come take the pictures. Seriously, she would happily drive down from Ottawa for the opportunity.
To profile each of the pieces, as we originally wanted to, would be so time intensive that this blog post would never get written. Alternatively, we encourage you to check out the CMoG "GlassApp" web app to get up close and personal with the collection.
Where possible, we have linked the photos of the art pieces to their profile on the app. There, you can read detailed interpretations and watch video interviews with the museum’s experts.
We spent a lot of time in this gallery, yet there are still not enough hours in one morning to give each work of art the amount of attention it deserves. With SO MUCH beauty to behold how could anyone possibly do so? Well, we tried! And now we have these fab photos to look back on and remember.
We continued to move back in time through the contemporary art galleries to 1975-2000. Here we only scratched the surface of the treasures this portion of the museum holds (NOT literally, obviously).
Themes of geometry and colour blocking were found throughout this gallery. It's pretty safe to say that this period was a time of experimentation and of "thinking outside the box", as they say. Clearly this art paved the way for the works we explored in the previous gallery, taking us far beyond the age of stained glass, crystal bowls, and fancy vases - not that there's anything wrong with the classics (as you will soon see)!
With the delightful weirdness of the 70s, 80s, and 90s behind us, we moved back in time just about as far as we could go. We're talking Egyptians and Greeks and clay tablets. Behold selections from the gallery dubbed "35 Centuries of Glass".
What you see above is an ancient clay tablet with instructions for how to make glass. Isn't it fascinating how glass holds its colour over the centuries? That blue is just STUNNING. We were also particularly fond of the ancient opalescent objects. If I were queen I would have ordered an entire set.
You'll have to pardon me as we move along; I lost the timeline wandering the maze-like halls of centuries old treasures.
That's right folks, there is an entire display dedicated solely to paperweights. Teeny tiny worlds all of their own — from around the world!
Here's the story with these pics. I was marvelling at this centuries old work of art and decided it would be a good idea to grab a selfie. Well folks, it happened: I STUMBLED!
I managed to balance myself on the wall surrounding the piece and didn't fall into the window. Phewf! No harm, no foul.
Relieved, I took the pic, but as I was doing so, I could hear it crackling ever so slightly behind me. My weight on the wall must have given it a shiver, and in that moment, I was convinced that the whole thing was going to shatter! It didn’t (thank goodness), but you can clearly see the panic and fear on my face during that split second when I thought it would.
Thus, with a little bit more pep in my step, I scurried away to find Stacey in the next gallery.
I am going to take this moment to give major props the people at CMoG and the meticulous attention they have given to the detail of the layout of their galleries.
Exploring the spaces gave you a sense of discovery and wonder.
Just when we thought there couldn’t possibly be more to see, we turned a corner to find a whole new collection of treasures. It truly gives you an appreciation for the versatility of glass and the many ways in which it can be re-imagined.
What you've seen so far is just a mere FRACTION of the things you can find in this wing. There is an entire "Study Gallery" with display cases FILLED with glass objects that you find in everyday life. For studying, one would assume.
That said, if I shared every picture we took, this post would never end. Thus, we move along.
It's not all pretty sculptures and display cases at the CMoG. One of the highlights is the hands-on learning at the "Innovation Center", an entire section focused on the science of glass. The nerd in me was all a-quiver.
And there you have it! A relatively small sampling of the beauty and wonder you can find at the Corning Museum of Glass.
Before I sign off, I want to give an extra special THANK YOU to Maven Stacey for being the photographer extraordinaire that she is. Being behind the lens means that our audience doesn’t get to see much more of Stacey than my sneaky mobile phone pics, which consist mostly of shots of the back of her head. And so, I’ll leave you with these. Isn’t she gorgeous?
See more of her work here on the Haven Mavens blog and on our Instagram feed. When she's not out adventuring with us, she's shooting weddings. Check out the Stacey Stewart Photography website for more samples of her work!