Curator of European Glass

The Corning Museum of Glass is seeking an experienced and creative Curator of European Glass. She/he is a member of the Museum’s senior staff that includes the Curators of American Glass, Modern & Contemporary Glass, Ancient & Islamic Glass and Science & Technology. The Curator of European Glass’s primary responsibilities are to provide leadership and vision for the Department’s continued curatorial excellence, oversee acquisitions in her/his area, represent the Museum at national and international professional meetings and take an active role in grant development.

The Corning Museum of Glass, located in the Southern Tier of New York State, will encompass 325,000 square feet when its major expansion is completed in March, 2015. The complex is dedicated to the art, science, crafting and scholarship of glass. The Museum is the repository for the world’s largest collection of glass, over 48,000 objects representing an encyclopedic 3,500 year history of the art and science of glass. The Museum is one of the three buildings in the Corning complex, which also includes the Rakow Research Library and The Studio.

The new Contemporary Art + Design Wing of the Museum will add 100,000 square feet to the existing 225,000 square foot campus, housing expanded contemporary art and design galleries and one of the world’s largest facilities for glassblowing demonstrations and live glass design sessions. One of the inaugural installations spotlights a room-size acquisition “Constellation” by the renowned American artist, Kiki Smith.

The Corning collection encompasses glassmaking from antiquity to the present day, representing every country and historical period in which glassmaking was practiced. The European Collection on exhibit is divided into four special areas: Early Northern European Glass; The Rise of Venetian Glassmaking; Glass in 17th to 19th Century Europe; and 19th Century European Glass. A comprehensive collection of paperweights adds a unique dimension to the European collection. The collection continues to expand through gifts and acquisitions. In 2013-14, twenty-five objects were added. The acquisition budget provides ample funds annually for significant additions to the collections and an array of important publications for the Library.

The exhibition schedule for 2015-16 highlights the astonishing work of an ancient Roman glass artist. Ennion: Master of Roman Glass originated at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Corning has developed a companion exhibition, Ennion and His Legacy drawing on the Museum’s own extensive collection of Roman glass. Filling out the exhibition program is a tribute to one of Corning Inc.’s early inventions developed in 1915: America’s Favorite Dish: Celebrating a Century of Pyrex.
Corning has adopted a new interpretive strategy led by the Education Department to engage the entire Museum in a holistic approach that is visitor centered, embraces the unique qualities of informal learning, is evidence based and interdisciplinary. Conveying the Museum’s mission: to tell the world about glass, is at the heart of this integrated approach. It embraces every curatorial area: Studio, Hot Glass Shows and the Rakow Library.

The Rakow Research Library is considered the world’s library of record on glass and contains the finest collection of research materials related to the art, history, science and technology of glass. Designed to state-of-the-art standards, the library holds hundreds of thousands of research items in more than 40 languages. This extraordinary resource provides a foundation for scholarly and technical articles produced by the curatorial, collections and conservation staffs. These resources are also available to visitors on site as well as on line.

The Museum’s famous Conservation Department oversees the condition and preservation of every glass object in the collection or loaned for exhibit. It is a state of-the-art facility with equipment created specifically for the examination and treatment of glass objects. The lab is regularly called upon for particularly difficult conservation problems of objects owned by other institutions. The Museum has recently hired Dr. Glen Cook, a materials studies specialist in glass and ceramics, to fill the position of Chief Scientist. Working with the Conservation staff as well as staff in all other areas of the Museum, Dr. Cook will be working to reinvigorate the Museum’s science programs, displays, and public offerings.

The Corning Museum of Glass operates with a budget of $60 million and has a full-time staff of 160.

Working Relationships

The Curator of European Glass reports to the President/ Executive Director. In addition to the curatorial team she/he will work with the Deputy Director of Collections, Research & Exhibitions; the Chief Scientist; the Chief Conservator; the Collections and Exhibition Manager; the Director of Education; the Chief Librarian, the Chief Digital Officer and the Director of The Studio.

The Curator of European Glass is responsible for the acquisition, exhibition, cataloguing and research of CMoG’s European glass collection.

The Curator of European Glass will begin immediately to familiarize her/himself with the European Glass collection and to develop ideas for future exhibitions. S/he will also establish rapport with the curatorial staff and become familiar with the entire Museum and staff.

Ongoing Responsibilities

  • Developing and implementing special exhibitions of European glass
  • Recommending acquisitions of glass and glass-related material such as books, periodicals and photographs of European glass
  • Consulting with private collectors for loans or gifts to the Museum
  • Cataloging the collection of European glass
  • Assisting in periodic surveys or inventories of the collection
  • Lecturing at the annual Seminar as it relates to European glass and to other museum groups, as appropriate
  • Responding to all inquiries about European glass
  • Pursuing original research in the field, writing catalogs, articles and other materials for CMoG and other publications
  • Making recommendations regarding loans to and from the Corning Museum of Glass and working with the Registrarial and Conservation Departments to ensure the appropriateness, safety and condition of all loans

Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate will have at least 5 years of curatorial and collections experience in progressively senior positions at an art museum with a significant collection and strong curatorial program in European art. Master’s degree in art history or a related field is required; a PhD is strongly preferred. A publications record is required. Knowledge of an additional art historical field, specifically Asian, Islamic or Ancient, would be ideal. In addition s/he will have:

  • In-depth knowledge of European decorative arts required; glass knowledge desired
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills; ability to speak to groups of all sizes
  • Ability to represent the Museum in a professional manner
  • Excellent research skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to cultivate important collectors and tactfully solicit gifts for the collection
  • Reading knowledge of at least two European languages
  • Ability to plan strategically and long-range for the exhibition schedule
  • A commitment to the interrelatedness of art and education
  • The personality to enjoy social and community interaction
  • High energy, strong motivation and a hands-on work ethic


Corning is a small historic and artistic city in Steuben County, in the geographic region of New York State known as the Southern Tier. Most famous for its glassmaking past and present, the town of Corning welcomes more than half a million people every year from all over the world. Visitors and residents enjoy Corning’s rich culture and history and the beauty of its surroundings in the Finger Lakes wine making region.

The historic Gaffer District is Corning’s restored downtown, where the annual GlassFest as well as music festivals, parades and a regular farmers market take place. The Rockwell Museum and Corning Incorporated’s headquarters are located in the Gaffer District as is the Corning Museum of Glass.

Corning’s population is 10,200. The town is a ninety-minute drive from the academic and cultural resources of Rochester and Syracuse. Cornell University and Ithaca College are located in Ithaca, New York, 45 miles from Corning. The Clemens Center in nearby Elmira hosts touring Broadway shows and other major entertainment. Elmira is also home to the Arnot Art Museum.

The Corning-Painted Post public school system is nationally recognized for its excellence. Corning’s per student public school expenditure is 30% higher than the national average and its student-to-teacher ratio is 14-to-1. There are several private and parochial schools in and near Corning including the Alternative School for Math and Science, a high performing small middle school.

Corning’s cost of living is 22% lower than the national average and is also significantly lower than New York State’s average.

Corning is served by the Elmira/Corning regional airport, 20 minutes away, with daily Delta non-stop service to Detroit, daily USAir non-stop service to Philadelphia, and United non-stop service to Chicago. Larger airports are in Rochester and Syracuse.

There is one hospital in Corning and several more are in the region.

To Apply

Address all inquiries and recommendations in confidence to the retained search consultants (e-mails are preferred).
Please do not send printed catalogues or material.

Freda Mindlin or Nancy Kaufman
Opportunity Resources Inc.
196 East 75th Street, Suite 14H
New York, NY 10021
Opportunity Resources has specialized for over thirty years in providing search services to non-profit cultural institutions nationwide.