Service animals are more than welcome in the Museum. However, we do not allow pets. There are multiple pet boarding services in the Corning area, for a listing, see here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Because we have so many visitors, we can't accommodate RVs in our lot overnight, although you are welcome to park there during your visit to the Museum. However, there are a number of RV camps in the area. Visit the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau for more information.
No. The Corning Museum of Glass is a smoke-free facility. Visitors may smoke outside if they wish.
Yes. The Museum campus has free public wireless internet access (WiFi) in most areas including the GlassMarket Café, the Rakow Research Library and The Studio. The signal may be weaker in some areas than others.
Follow these instructions to connect on your Android device:
Go to Settings and touch “Wireless and networks.” Touch “Wi-Fi settings.” Touch to turn on your device’s Wi-Fi setting. Select “CMoG Guest” from the list of Wi-Fi networks.
Follow these instructions to connect on your Apple device:
Open the Settings app and touch “Wi-Fi.” Make sure Wi-Fi is ON. Touch “CMoG Guest” from the list of available networks.
For more information see Mobile FAQs.
Yes. We have an automated teller machine (ATM) that is located on the Lower Level, adjacent to the GlassMarket Café.
Strollers are not available from the Museum, but we do encourage and allow their use in the Museum.
Yes. The Museum is wheelchair accessible, and wheelchairs are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Please ask a Guest Services Team Member or a security guard for assistance. We regret that wheelchairs may not be reserved in advance.
All lost and found items are collected at the admissions desk. While at the Museum, please vist the admissions desk to report or claim a lost item. From outside the Museum, call 800.732.6845 or 607.937.5371 to determine if your item has been found.
We accept cash and Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit cards. We do NOT accept personal checks or travelers checks.
Primary parking is available in a lot just off I-86, Exit 46. Watch for CMoG banners and a Welcome Center. A free shuttle bus runs continuously from the Welcome Center to the Museum and to the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, as well as downtown Corning, where you'll find Historic Market Street shops and restaurants.
About the Museum
Corning Incorporated no longer manufactures Corningware. They sold the consumer products division to World Kitchen in 1998. The Corning Museum of Glass is not part of Corning Incorporated and does not involve any factory or research facility tours.
Guests can learn all about glass technology in the Glass Innovation Center, which contains three galleries: Windows, Vessels and Optics (which includes an interactive exhibit specifically on fiber optics).
The Museum offers one-hour family-friendly tours daily, from Memorial Day through October, and during winter and spring breaks; see the calendar for dates and times. Special exhibition tours are also available throughout the year. We have a self-guided tour through the Museum, available any time during our operating hours. If you would like to schedule a guided tour, contact 607.438.5113 at least two weeks ahead of time. All guided tours are subject to Docent availability. The Museum also accommodates group tours (20 or more people).
The Corning Museum of Glass opened in 1951. In 1998, it expanded its activities to include those of the Corning Glass Center. The entire campus is now called The Corning Museum of Glass.
%%Flash%% photography is not allowed in the galleries. Photography, using existing light (no %%flash%%), is permitted for personal use only.
No %%flash%% or tripods may be used. No photography is permitted in special exhibition areas without special permission by the Museum's Executive Director. These areas are marked with "Do Not Photograph" signs. All photography for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
The CMoG symbol could be a stylized representation of a glory hole, the hole in the side of a glass furnace, used to reheat glass objects while they are being made, but there is no official meaning. In a July 1978 letter from Arthur A. Houghton, a past president of Steuben who was influential to the Corning Glass Center's development, to Otto W. Hilbert, a Corning Glass Works employee, Houghton stated:
We felt the need of an identifying symbol that would be equally effective if large (as on a highway sign) or small (as on a match box cover or as a printer’s logo.) It was strong, simple, colorful and easily identified and remembered.
The original logo was similar to the current “bull’s eye” design, but featured a blue outer ring, then a white ring, and a red center ring, which connected to the blue ring with a straight line.
From that moment to this I have not the vaguest idea what the symbol signifies. You are quite free to interpret the arcane meaning of this masterpiece of art in any way that you wish. If people wonder what it is, and talk and argue at length about it, what more could we want?
The logo was redrawn and rendered in one color in 1999. The symbol was redrawn to be in proportion with the letterforms used in the square “CMOG” logo.
It is a Robertson Ventilator. It sits on the top of the former Steuben Glass Factory. Its purpose is to circulate the heat out of the factory while keeping animals and weather elements out.
The Corning Museum of Glass is a private, non-profit foundation, generously supported by Corning Incorporated. The Museum is one of many organizations nationwide that benefit from the philanthropic activities of Corning Incorporated according to the foundation law of 1969.
Harrison and Abromowitz designed the original building in 1951. Gunnar Birkerts designed the building housing the Art and History Galleries, completed in 1980. The Glass Innovation Center and the rest of the Museum's $65 million transformation was designed by architects Smith-Miller+Hawkinson with assistance from the exhibit design firm of Ralph Applebaum and Associates. It opened in 2001.
Yes. We offer live glassmaking demonstrations throughout the day, every day. You can even Make Your Own Glass souvenir for a small fee.
Send a photograph of your glass item along with any written information you may have to the Museum's Curatorial Department. You may also send an email with an image attached to email@example.com or mail a photo to Curatorial Department, Corning Museum of Glass, One Museum Way, Corning, NY, 14830.
No, unfortunately, we do not offer this service. However, the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) has a listing of conservators who may be able to help. Find a conservator.
Contact the secretary of the Curatorial Dept. at 607.438.5284 to schedule a time to bring in your item. If visiting the Museum is not an option, digital photographs along with any written information you may have should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because of our non-profit status, we are unable to appraise items.
The Registrar can locate objects in the Museum's collection. Call the Registrar at 607.438.5289, or send an email to email@example.com.
In addition to The Corning Museum of Glass and its glassmaking school, The Studio, there are many smaller collections and studios across the country. Visit the website of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass (AACG) for information about exhibits and collections, or check out our list of glass schools.
The Museum acquires pieces by gifts and purchases. Some objects may be on loan from other institutions or individuals.
While other manufacturers and distributors also provide suitable materials, for the glass exhibition %%cases%%, we use ""ZEP 40"" Non-streaking Glass Cleaner, which is clear, non-ammonia cleaner, basically made of deionized (or distilled) water and isopropyl alcohol (probably about 90% water, although the manufacturer does not disclose exact proportions).
To wash glass objects themselves (the ones that can be safely washed), we use a non-ionic dilute conservation-grade detergent, warm tap water, and rinse thoroughly in deionized water. Commercially, Ivory Liquid Clear is a suitable soap. One should avoid any soaps or detergents with color (dyes), perfumes, and ammonia, including Windex.
All chemicals, including soaps, should be used in accordance with the manufacturer's recommended guidelines and their Material and Safety Data Sheets. They must also be used in compliance with U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA) regulations.
Disclaimer: These are the recommendations of our Conservator, who has lectured and published extensively on the cleaning and care of glass objects. The author and The Corning Museum of Glass make no representations concerning products or services, nor are responsible for their misuse. The materials listed are for informational purposes only.
Yes. Use our Ask a Librarian service available on the Library website, call the reference desk at 607.438.5300, or stop by the Library during our regular hours.
Yes. You can search our library catalog and the Article Index at http://rakow.cmog.org/ from anywhere you have access to the Internet.
The Library’s primary collection is non-circulating, although we do loan some materials to other libraries through our Interlibrary Loan service. Please see the Library webpage for additional information about Interlibrary Loan.
Yes. WiFi access to the Internet is available in our reading room.
At this time, the Library's archives include few glass company employee records. Our collections do not include personnel records for Corning Glass Works or Corning Incorporated. We encourage you to contact the Southeast Steuben County Library to gain a greater understanding of genealogical resources available for the Corning area.
Our Library does have some information about Corning Incorporated. For more complete documentation concerning the company, you may contact the Corning Incorporated Archives at 607.974.8457.
Please contact Lori Fuller at 607.438.5323 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for a further discussion of donating items.
The Library is free and open to the public from 9-5, Monday-Friday and on Sundays from 12-5 when the Studio is in session. You do not need an appointment to visit the Library. Please contact us at 607.438.5300 or email@example.com, if you would like to have preliminary research materials pulled in advance of your visit.
The Library contains the most comprehensive collection in the world on the subject of the art and history of glass and early glassmaking, stained glass, and techniques for glass artists.
The Library is located at 5 Museum Way, a short distance west of the Museum.
See #10 on the Museum campus map for details.
Yes, in fact, we recommend that you sign up online before you visit the Museum, as spots fill very quickly, especially during school breaks, weekends and in the summer. You can also make same-day or advance reservations by calling 607.438.5000.
The Studio is part of the Museum, but admission to this facility, along with the GlassMarket, the Carder Gallery and the Rakow Research Library, is free. However, there is a charge for Make Your Own Glass.
Yes. Visit Glassmaking Classes at The Studio or call 607.438.5100 for information.
The Studio is the Museum's internationally renowned teaching facility. In addition to offering college-level glassmaking courses, The Studio also offers Museum visitors an opportunity to try glassmaking themselves at the Make Your Own Glass workshop. The Studio is located directly across from the rear entrance of the Museum. Ask a CMoG employee for directions.
Yes! The GlassMarket will ship merchandise in special protective packaging anywhere in the continental U.S. Please inquire in the GlassMarket for detailed information.
We do not sell film. However, we do sell single-use cameras in the GlassMarket.
We sell glass items made around the world, from Corning to China. We offer handmade glass items, as well as factory-made glass pieces. You will find everything from glass jewelry to holiday ornaments to one-of-a-kind art pieces.
Corningware and other World Kitchen brands are available in the Museum's GlassMarket and in the Corning-Revere Factory Store at 114 Pine Street in downtown Corning. You can get more information about the store at 607.962.1545.
Visit the websites of Finger Lakes Wine Country and Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau for information regarding local events, lodging, and attractions in the region. The Corning area features many excellent hotels, motels, and RV parks, which accommodate hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
Ferenbaugh, a campsite nearby, can take care of your needs. (A fee is charged.)
The Greater Corning Area has a population of about 26,000. This includes the surrounding communities of Riverside, Painted Post, and Erwin.
At Black's Sunoco Station on West Pultney St. near Route 414.
The large black contemporary glass building is the world headquarters for Corning Incorporated. It is an office building, and it is not open to the public. You may note the architectural detail at the top of the headquarters building, which resembles a V-shaped structure known as a Robertson Ventilator. It doesn't serve any function, but rather is an architectural gesture acknowledging Corning Incorporated's history as a glassworks.
Corning sits on the banks of the Chemung River. The Chemung River starts in Painted Post at the juncture of the Cohocton and Tioga rivers. It flows southeast and eventually joins the Susquehanna River.
The tower was originally the Tube Draw Tower. Erected in 1912, it was used to draw glass tube for making thermometers. It was restored in 2000, and today it is a local landmark known regionally as "Little Joe" for the iconic glassblower painted on its side.
It was attracted by ample coal and fuel and good transportation facilities, both rail and canal.
The City of Corning was named first. The City of Corning was named after a financier by the name of Erastus Corning. When the Brooklyn Flint Glass Works moved here in the late 1860s from Brooklyn, NY, it was renamed the Corning Glass Works. The company now is named Corning Incorporated.
Hot Glass Show
By definition, glass has a random arrangement of atoms. Upon cooling, these atoms are often locked into place before they can form regular and uniform bonds with their neighbors.
Because of randomness in bond strength, melting doesn’t occur at a specific temperature. Instead, it occurs over a range of temperatures, usually 1100° to 1400° F.
Yes. Volcanic glass is called obsidian. Glass formed when a meteorite strikes sand is called a tektite. Glass formed from a lightning strike is called a fulgurite.
Historically, it was not uncommon for glassmakers to suffer from a lung disease called silicosis. The raw materials used to make glass, especially silica, could accumulate in the lungs, severely reducing their ability to enrich blood with oxygen. The lungs are not able to absorb or expel silica, resulting in scarring and fibrosis. Today, workers protect themselves when working with raw materials by using a respirator. The act of blowing glass does not lead to respiratory problems.
To start the initial bubble, the glassmaker uses as much pressure as you would use to blow up a party balloon. Once started, the glass inflates very easily. As the glass cools, it continually stiffens, becoming harder and harder to inflate. Most items made at the Hot Glass Show are “off-hand” formed without molds. Mold blowing often requires high pressures, sometimes glassblowers even use compressed air to fill out a complex mold.
No, the furnace must remain on continually. It is filled with hundreds of pounds of glass, too much to heat up each day. It is also harmful for the refractory bricks to be repeatedly heated and cooled.
Glass does not flow once it reaches room temperature. The myth that glass flows over time has been perpetuated for years. You may have heard from your high school science teacher that the glass in an old stained glass window thickens at the bottom because it has “flowed down” over time. The glass in these windows is, in fact, often of varying thickness, but that is because of how the sheets of glass were made. There are many glass objects thousands of years older than those windows that show no sign of flow. Scientists at Corning Incorporated have conducted experiments simulating millions of years of gravity on glass and have proven that even on a geologic time %%scale%%, glass does not flow.
Yes. When the same glass is melted many times, the quality deteriorates. This is noticeable to the gaffer as the glass becomes more “stiff” or difficult to tool. Clear glass from the Hot Glass Show is always re-melted in addition to new batch, so no difference in quality is noticed.
Yes. Much of the clear glass scrap from the Hot Glass Show is re-melted, however “crack-off” is not re-melted. Sometimes scraps of colored glass are used to make paperweights. Other glass waste is sent to a municipal recycling center.
Bubbles can be formed in glass when the batch is not melted properly or long enough, or when poor gathering techniques are used at the pipe. Bubbles can also be intentionally introduced into the surface of the glass by creating indentations and gathering over them.
The Hot Glass Show gaffers use colored glass in two forms: bar and frit. Color bars can be used to achieve solid colors, while frit (crushed up colored glass) is used for different mottled looks.
There are pressure-sensitive switch pads located at key locations around the stage that control the cameras. When a gaffer steps or sits on one, the camera moves to follow his/her moves.
The camera behind the glory hole is protected by a sheet of fused silica glass and cooled with a stream of air. Fused silica is a high-temperature/low-expansion glass developed by Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated) in 1930. It is made up only of chemically rendered silica and melts at 3800ºF, or 2000ºC, and can easily withstand the 2300ºF heat of the furnace.
The glass left over on the blowpipe will crack away in time. This is a result of the way the glass contracts as it cools.
Many factors tell the glassmaker how long to heat the glass. Glassblowers can see and feel the glass move on the end of the pipe. They watch the color of the glass and develop a sense of timing with practice.
Today, it is most common to learn glassmaking in an art program at a college or university. The focus at a university is typically on expressing oneself in glass and not on technique. Glassmaking can also be learned at public access workshops, or by apprenticing at established studios.
Glassmakers often start the glassblowing process by the “blow and cap” method, wherein pressurized air is trapped in the pipe by the thumb. This air forms a bubble in the glass after a short delay. The delay is caused by a temperature differential in the glass. Near the pipe, the glass is cooled by the pipe head which is 1,000 degrees cooler than the glass. Some say the bubble is formed simply from the pressure of the initial breath, some say that air trapped in the blowpipe is heated by the hot glass and expands, forming the bubble. As gasses heat, they expand in accordance with “Charles’ Law.”
Hot Glass Show glassblowers work the glass at 2100º F (1150º C).
Gaffers activate a small solenoid valve with a foot pedal, which introduces additional gas into the furnace’s flame.
Glass is colored by adding different metallic compounds to the batch (iron is added for green, cobalt is added to create cobalt blue, etc.).
Generally, it takes about six years to become a professional glassmaker. There are many who are very capable with less experience, but they may lack versatility.
About 50 lbs of glass are melted for the Hot Glass Show every day, which takes about eight hours to melt down and refine.
750,000 BTU on high fire.
The Museum has nearly 50,000 objects, representing every civilization and time period in which glass has been made.
In a production factory, it is not unusual for a team of three glassworkers to make 200+ items in one day. Some artisan studios make two to four complex pieces per day. Hot Glass Show glassmakers usually make 12 to 15 items each day.
A typical glass studio such as the Museum’s would use as much gas as approximately 10 homes.
For professional glassmakers, it is uncommon to be burned in the studio. Burns that do happen, most often occur by touching hot metal and not glass. There are many hot surfaces and tools of which glassmakers must constantly be aware.
The glass used in the Hot Glass Show begins to soften around 1200º F or 650º C. Shaping on the pipe occurs in the 1500°–2100º F range, 800°–1150º C.
Molds for glassblowing can be made of many materials. Early Roman ceramic and bronze molds for glass have been found. Today, most optic or pattern molds are made of bronze and aluminum, and most blow molds are made of wood or cast iron coated with cork.
Marvers at the Museum are made of stainless steel. Marvers on the ship are made of bronze to protect against the corrosive sea air.
The Museum’s furnace is made of several types of ceramic refractory brick. These bricks are more heat and corrosion resistant on the inner face, and more insulating on the outer surface.
Lead crystal has several desirable attributes, including a higher index of refraction (the way in which light reflects within the glass) and the fact that it is softer when cold, allowing it to be more easily cut and engraved. Unlike soda lime glass, lead glass can also be brought to a high polish in a bath of acid.
Natural gas. The Museum also has a furnace fueled with propane, and one that is electrically powered.
The glassmaker is not able to draw enough air out to the pipe to accidentally inhale hot air. Some glassmakers purposely collapse a bubble by inhaling to achieve certain designs.
Approximately 80% of the glass containers turned in for recycling are made into new containers. Each recycled container saves enough energy to run a 60-watt light bulb for four hours. There are also many secondary uses for recycled glass, including aggregate for concrete and blacktop, a melting agent used in forming bricks, for filtration, and as an abrasive.
An oxide of the element boron is used as a flux and gives glass its low thermal expansion. There’s actually a town named Boron, CA, where borax is mined.
Glass is a state of matter that possesses the atomic structure of a liquid and the physical properties of a solid.
Limestone, or calcium carbonate, is needed to stabilize glass and make it resistant to weathering.
Pyrex is the brand name of Corning Incorporated’s borosilicate glass. Borosilicate glass was developed in the late 19th century by the German glassmaker Otto Schott. Borosilicates have a composition of silica sand and boron. The biggest benefit of borosilicates is that they have very low thermal expansion, allowing them to heat and cool rapidly without breaking. Borosilicates must be shaped at higher temperatures than soda-lime glass.
Silica is silicon dioxide, the compound that makes up quartz and sand. Silica is the most abundant mineral in the crust of the earth.
Soda ash, or sodium carbonate, is added to the glass as a “flux,” or an agent used to lower the melting temperature. Traditionally, sea plants were processed to yield soda ash. Today, soda is mined (in Wyoming) and refined into soda ash and baking soda.
Also known as sodium carbonate, soda ash is derived from a sodium compound mined mostly in Wyoming. Traditionally, soda ash was derived from the ashes of sea plants.
The term “crystal” originally referred to any high quality clear glass (a glass that resembles natural rock crystal). The Venetians first called their clear glass Cristallo in the 14th century. Today crystal most often refers to “lead crystal,” which uses lead as a flux in place of soda ash, giving the glass an incredibly clear appearance.
The Hot Glass Show gaffers use a “soda-lime” glass, which has a basic composition of silica sand (70%), soda ash (20%), and limestone (10%). This mixture is called a “batch.”
Glassblowers must wear safety glasses to protect against flying glass and harmful UV and IR radiation. It is also common for glassmakers to wear natural fibers and not synthetics, which %%melt%% when hot. Glassmakers sometimes wear gloves, but typically do not in order to retain dexterity and grip.
Optic molds are used to give a bubble a pattern, which can be further inflated and formed out of the mold. Blow molds can be used to give an object its final form. Blow molds can be seamed for irregular shapes or turn molds for symmetrical forms with no seams.
Glass shaping blocks are made of fruit woods: apple, cherry, and pear. These woods a have a dense and even grain, absorb water, and burn out evenly. For the first 10 to 15 seconds that a glassmaker uses the wood block, the glass rides on a layer of steam rather than burning the wood away.
Ancient glass that has been buried over centuries often develops an iridescent surface. This is due to the interaction of elements in the base glass with the soil in which it was buried. Today, iridized surfaces can be produced using two methods: fuming and reducing. In fuming, the still hot glass is sprayed with metallic salts such as stannous chloride. In reducing, reactive glasses are applied to the surface of a piece, and the glass is then exposed to a reduction flame (gas ruch) in the furnace.
The furnace on the Hot Glass Show stage has a heat recuperation system. This system pre-heats the combustion air to 500ºF by circulating it around the hot exhaust flue.
It is impossible to say. The Museum is full of priceless treasures that exist nowhere else.
Silica is commonly mined throughout the Southern and Mid-Western United States.
Colored glass is purchased from a handful of companies that supply the art glass community with a full spectrum of colors. For the Hot Glass Show, only clear glass is melted in the furnace, allowing the gaffers to apply color to the molten glass as needed.
There are hundreds of metallic compounds and combinations of compounds that make color in glass, but here are some of the most common: cobalt = blue, iron = green, copper = turquoise blue or ruby red, manganese = amethyst, gold = ruby or purple, cadmium = red, selenium = yellow, tin + antimony = white.
Glass will not stick to a cold blowpipe. The tips have to be heated to assure a proper, even start of the bubble.
The water vaporizes too quickly at the interface with the glass. Molten glass will crack on the surface when submerged in water, but not when using the block.
The steam is under the glass, when the block is lifted away, you can see the steam.
Our blowpipes don’t get hot for a number of reasons. Mostly, the pipes are only briefly exposed to heat themselves when gathering. When re-heating, the glass is heated and not the pipe. Glass is an excellent insulator, and does not conduct heat into the pipe. Today, our pipes are made of stainless steel which also helps, since stainless is a poor conductor of heat. In addition, pipes are long enough that the glassmaker can always hold the pipe safely.
The simple answer is that it’s just the way it is. Like water, plastic and many other materials, glass transmits much of the light that strikes it. All glasses reflect about 8% of the light %%striking%% it. Darker glasses absorb more of the light. Colored glasses transmit all colors of the spectrum, except the color that the glass appears to be.
While there is no concrete answer, there are several plausible origins of this term. In an old factory, where smoke and dust were everywhere, a 2100° opening would have created an illusion not unlike that seen in paintings of saints and angles where “The Glory” radiated from their heads. A break in the clouds where sunlight passes through is also called a glory hole. However, the term has more recently fallen out of use and the term “Reheating Furnace” is more widely used.
The Hot Glass Show is about teaching people about the process of glassmaking. The object is just a result of this learning experience. Recycling the objects made of clear glass helps the Museum save material, and is a memorable end to the demonstration.
Most believe that the word marver is derived from the French word for marble “marbre.” Traditionally, a stone surface would have been used to roll and shape the glass. Today, marvers are made of stainless steel because it is a poor conductor of heat.
When glass is cooled too quickly below 950º F tremendous strain is created. Like many materials, glass expands as it heats and shrinks as it cools. When glass is allowed to cool quickly it cools unevenly, which in turn creates strain (not stress). Slow cooling forces the entire object to cool evenly, minimizing strain.
The Museum does not sell any glass made during our demonstrations. The glass made in the Hot Glass Show is given away during raffles, used for Museum events, and given to local charities. The Museum has established this practice to give our glassmakers more creative freedom, thus making our shows more interesting.
The short answer is “no.” Heating any glass is dangerous. Glass is very sensitive to sudden temperature changes which can cause it to shatter or crack. Heating can also cause a piece to change shape or color. Making new glass pieces to fill losses in an object is not feasible because it is nearly impossible to create the exact shape and size that is needed.
Cold-working techniques, such as polishing, are not used because they remove original material from the object and (minutely) change the dimensions/shape of the object. They also put added stress on objects which could cause further damage. Very rarely a contemporary art work, in which a perfect surface is integral to the meaning of the piece, may be re-polished by a skilled glass worker and often with the artist’s involvement.
In the past people have used fragments from similar ancient glass to fill in losses in almost complete objects or even joined two partial objects to create a “complete” object, but these practices are no longer considered acceptable.
Glass objects that can be safely washed (most objects in the collection except ancient and some modern and composite objects) are washed with tap water and a mild conservation-grade detergent (any mild detergent without dyes or perfumes would work), followed by thorough rinsing with de-ionized or distilled water. The glass is then either toweled dry with paper towels or air dried. For some objects, like bottles with narrow openings, the inside is rinsed with a small amount of acetone to help remove moisture. Old adhesives from previous repairs or labels are removed with solvents, mostly acetone, ethanol, or a petroleum distillate like naphtha.
Breaks and cracks in glass become visible because light moves through the air that is trapped in the crack differently than through the glass. Because light moves through materials with similar refractive indexes in similar ways, we can minimize the visibility of glue lines by using an adhesive that has a refractive index similar to glass. Glasses of different compositions have different refractive indexes. Lead glass, for example, has a higher refractive index than soda-lime glass. Luckily there are two stable epoxy resins that we can use to repair glass, one with a refractive index close to lead glass and the other with a refractive index close to soda glass. When the refractive index of the glass and the glue are very close and the break edges are clean and undamaged, the glue lines are almost invisible.
On close inspection, fine lines are still always visible along the break edges, as a result of microscopic chips missing from the very edges of the breaks.
The time it takes to do one conservation treatment can differ greatly. A simple treatment can take as little as 15 minutes, while a very complicated one can take hundreds of hours over many months. Most treatments take between 10 and 30 hours of active work over a period of several months. Many of the materials we use require long setting times, so we can’t do an entire treatment at once. Sometimes we can only glue one fragment a day. The treatment ends up taking months, but we’re really only working on it for a few minutes a day. This is one of the reasons we usually work on several objects at a time.
Many of the objects that come into the lab for treatment have missing pieces. The first step is to examine the object and decide whether or not those losses need to be filled. People expect to see damage on archaeological objects, so losses in archaeological glass are often not filled, especially if they are small and don’t distract from the overall appearance of the object. If there are many losses or large losses that interfere with the structural stability or interpretation of the object, at least some of the losses need to be filled.
Fills are made out of synthetic resin, usually epoxy, which is dyed to match the color of the glass. We use several techniques to make the fills, but most are a done through a casting and molding process either directly on the object or with a plaster intermediary fill. If handles or other decorative elements are missing we can sometimes make a mold of a matching element on the object itself or from an identical object. If we don’t have a good idea of what the missing element looked like, we won’t make a replacement for it. Similarly, if the missing area has painted or enameled decoration, we only reproduce it on our fill if we are certain of what was there. For example, we would continue a repeated geometric pattern or line, but we would not re-create a figure.
Confusion sometimes arises about the terms “restoration” and “conservation.” Restoration is actually a type of conservation treatment. Specifically it refers to an attempt to bring an object closer to its original appearance. The other type of conservation treatment is stabilization, which refers to an attempt to prevent further deterioration of an object. In all conservation treatments the integrity of the object and maintaining as much of the original material as possible is important.
In glass conservation, a stabilization treatment might include re-assembling the fragments of a broken object, but not making any fills to replace the missing pieces unless they are needed for structural support. A restoration treatment would include making fills to replace the missing fragments so that the object looks whole once again. Conservators do not want to deceive anyone into believing an object is undamaged when it’s not, but the repairs also should not distract from the object itself. As a general rule, restorations should be invisible/unnoticeable from 6 feet away, but visible (to a trained eye) from 6 inches away.
Astrid van Giffen, Assistant Conservator:
The oldest thing I personally have worked on is actually not glass. It was a Greek ceramic vase from about 700-900 B.C.
The oldest glass I’ve worked on was probably a Roman piece dating to 200-499 A.D.
Follow these instructions to connect on your Android device:
Go to Settings and touch “Wireless and networks.” Touch “Wi-Fi settings.” Touch to turn on your device’s Wi-Fi setting. Select “CMoG Guest” from the list of Wi-Fi networks.
Follow these instructions to connect on your Apple device:
Open the Settings app and touch “Wi-Fi.” Make sure Wi-Fi is ON. Touch “CMoG Guest” from the list of available networks.
Yes. The Museum campus has free public wireless internet access (WiFi) in most areas including the GlassMarket Café, the Rakow Research Library and The Studio. Connect to “CMoG Guest” from the list of available Wi-Fi networks. The signal may be weaker in some areas than others.
Member events are for Museum Members only, but we invite you to purchase memberships as gifts for your friends and family so they can join you.
Yes, but giving through a charitable trust, foundation, or donor-advised fund carries certain restrictions. Please contact the Membership Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607.438.5600 for more information.
Donor level Members can bring up to two guests for free per visit, Supporting level Members can bring four guests per visit, and Patron level Members can bring six guests per visit.
Membership cards are not transferable; only the cardholder is entitled to use the card. Museum membership makes a great gift for family and friends, though. Visit the Membership section of our website for more information.
All of our events require reservations. For your convenience, you can make reservations either by phone or email, 607.438.5600 or email@example.com.
Yes, Members receive a generous 15% discount, with special sales throughout the year. Please present your membership card when you check out.
Contact the Membership Department at 607.438.5600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upgrading your membership gives you access to additional benefits and opportunities. You can upgrade your current membership at any time. Simply call the membership office at 607.438.5600 or visit the Membership section of our website, and select your new level. You can also upgrade when you renew your membership.
The Admissions Lobby has a Members-only line for your convenience.
There are several ways to join, or to renew your membership: Visit the Membership section of our website; call 607.438.5600; or mail the membership form to The Corning Museum of Glass, Membership Office, One Museum Way, Corning, NY 14830.
We issue up to two (adult) membership cards per household.
We offer a variety of benefits, ranging from free admission to a subscription to The %%Gather%%, our Members-only magazine. A full list of benefits can be found inside the membership brochure, or in the Membership section of our website.
When you waive your benefits, you are choosing to have your gift be 100% tax deductible. You are not able to take advantage of any Member benefits, such as free admission and discounts.
This unique program makes it possible for members at one museum to enjoy the benefits of membership at another participating museum. Corning Museum Members at the Donor level and above are entitled to receive the same benefits offered to members of other museums, upon presenting their specially marked membership card. Benefits typically include free admission, and discounts in the museum stores. (See the complete list.)
Currently we do not charge to replace a lost membership card. Please call the Membership Department at 607.438.5600 and we will send you a replacement membership card. Please allow up to two weeks to receive your replacement membership card.
Your membership cards will arrive approximately two weeks from the day your membership is processed. If you would like to visit the Museum, but have not yet received your card, simply present your photo ID at the membership desk and a temporary membership card will be issued.
Please call the Membership Department at 607.438.5600.
North Wing Expansion
Architect Thomas Phifer’s design for the North Wing Addition includes an innovative renovation of the former Steuben factory ventilator building into one of the world’s largest facilities for glassblowing demonstrations and live glass design sessions. The team benchmarked hotshops around the country and talked with glassmakers when planning for the design.
The renovation of the ventilator building respects the original intent and design of the iconic structure, but opens up the metal siding to allow for a brightly lit interior: a 500-seat glassmaking space that includes a gallery-level balcony running around the perimeter of the venue and offering 360-degree views of the glassmaking below.
Read more: Renovation Begins on Glassmaking Icon
The 100,000 square foot North Wing Addition adds 26,000 square feet of gallery space for contemporary works of art and design in glass, a 500-seat glassmaking space that includes a gallery-level balcony running around the perimeter of the venue, and finally, a one-acre green outdoor %%gathering%% space for the public adjacent to the new gallery and glassmaking spaces.
The $64 million project is funded by the Museum’s major benefactor, Corning Incorporated.
The Museum is open while the North Wing expansion project is underway. See today’s hours and live Hot Glass demonstration schedule. Today's Schedule
Visitors can enjoy the Glass Collection Galleries, new exhibitions and the full schedule of live hot glassmaking demonstrations, as well as the Museum’s programming for the public – including kids & families – offered throughout the year.
The new North Wing will effectively complete the Museum’s circulation plan, linking four generations of architecture spanning 60 years. The new master plan respects the original architecture, re-purposes spaces to better serve both the Museum and its research and academic programs, and enhances the visitor experience. The goals of the North Wing expansion project are:
- To create 26,000 square feet of new light-filled gallery space to showcase the Museum’s growing collections of large-scale contemporary works of art and design in glass.
- To establish one of the world’s best facilities for glassblowing demonstrations and live glass design sessions, with seating for 500 and a surrounding gallery-level balcony.
- To employ a state-of-the-art daylighting system designed to use filtered natural daylight to complement and spotlight glass art.
- To reimagine the former Steuben factory on site adjacent to the current Museum building continuing the long-standing tradition of glassmaking in Corning, New York.
- To create one-acre of new green space, providing views into the luminous new gallery and glassmaking spaces.
The expansion project will create 110 construction jobs between 2012 and 2014, and employ local subcontractors. In addition, once the project is completed the Museum will add 10-12 employees. The Museum is already an economic engine for the region, attracting 400,000 visitors each year who spend $140 million in the local economy. The North Wing Addition will enable the Museum to better accommodate this increasing number of visitors.
The project broke %%ground%% on June 7, 2012, and is scheduled for completion in 2014.
Visit cmog.org/expansion for updates on the North Wing Addition including the full site plan, renderings of the new building, blog updates, and photos of the construction.
New York-based architect Thomas Phifer was selected to design the North Wing Addition. Phifer approaches modernism from a humanistic standpoint, connecting the built environment to the natural world with a heightened sense of openness and community spirit that is based on a collaborative, interdisciplinary process. Since %%founding%% Thomas Phifer and Partners in 1997, he has completed the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, N.C;, the Raymond and the Susan Brochstein Pavilion at Rice University in Houston, Texas; and the %%Salt%% Point House, the Millbrook House, and the Taghkanic House, all in the Hudson River Valley of New York State.
Phifer’s buildings have been repeatedly honored by the American Institute of Architects, including six AIA National Honor Awards and 21 AIA New York Honor Awards. In 2011 the North Carolina Museum of Art won a National Honor Award from the AIA and in 2010 the Raymond and Susan Brochstein Pavilion also won a National Honor Award. The international competition-winning design for the City Lights light fixture for New York City won a Research and Development Award from Architect magazine in 2009, and in 2008 the %%Salt%% Point House won an American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum. His projects have been published and exhibited extensively in the United States and overseas.
In 2004 Phifer was awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest award given to an individual or firm, from the New York Chapter of the AIA. In 1995 he received the prestigious Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, and in 2011 he was elected an Academician of the National Academy of Design. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and is serving as a Peer for the General Services Administration. He received his Bachelor of Architecture in 1975 and his Master of Architecture in 1977, both from Clemson University.
Read more in “10 Questions With... Tom Phifer” from Interior Design.
The Corning Museum of Glass is home to more than 45,000 works in glass. Spanning the globe and encompassing more than 3,500 years of human ingenuity, the collection includes masterpieces from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome; the great civilizations of Islam, Asia, Europe and the Americas; and the range of artistic movements beginning in the late 19th century and extending to the present day. The Museum continues to develop its collection with gifts, acquisitions and commissions of contemporary works in glass.
The Museum’s collection of contemporary glass reflects the shifting boundaries between contemporary art, craft and design. It is the largest and most comprehensive collection of contemporary glass art in the world. The Museum’s collection has 3,600 objects that date after 1975, which range in size from paperweights to room-size installations.
In addition to its collection, the Museum is renowned for its live glassmaking programs, offered at the Museum, on the road, and at sea on Celebrity Cruises. These narrated experiences are designed to bring the artistry of glassmaking alive and to educate visitors about the properties of glass as a material.
To provide the appropriate space and services necessary to meet the demands of the Museum’s collection, programming and future goals, architect Thomas Phifer was asked to re-imagine the site of the former Steuben Glass building as a new North Wing of the Museum, to address two key issues:
- Expanded gallery space to showcase more of the Museum’s contemporary works in glass, which continue to grow larger in scale. Currently, the Museum is unable to show a portion of its contemporary collection because of space constraints.
- Expanded capacity and capability for the Museum’s glassblowing demonstration programs, to accommodate larger crowds and provide enhanced glassmaking capabilities for additional programming.
The North Wing Additoin is being built in accordance with the tenets of the U. S. Green Building Council. The USGBC promotes the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.
The North Wing Additon’s environmentally sustainable design elements include:
- Insulated double glazed windows with high performance, low-E coating to reduce heat gain
- Daytime illumination provided by natural light
- Daylight harvesting system
- Carbon dioxide monitors control volume of outside air intake
- Enthalpy wheel recovers heat from building exhaust air
- Water-to-water heat pumps recover heat from refrigeration exhaust
- VAV controls track occupancy and system performance to reduce energy consumption
- Water economizer uses cooling towers instead of chillers to produce cooling in winter for pumps
- Multiple valves on cooling coils reduce energy required for dehumidification
- Commissioning of building systems maximizes equipment efficiency
- Facility personnel training improves long-term maintenance and operation
- Design of storm water retention reduces run-off and erosion
- Site lighting is designed to meet Dark Sky standards
Make Your Own Glass
Make Your Own Glass experiences are not included in general Museum admission. Make Your Own Glass experiences range in cost from $12-$44 depending on the specific project you choose. If you are not visiting the Museum and only wish to participate in a Make Your Own Glass experience, then you do not need to purchase a general Museum admission.
Please be sure of the Make Your Own Glass experience that you would like to make before you place your reservation. However, you are able to change your mind within the same project category of the same price point. For example, if you originally signed up to make an ornament but decide later that you would prefer to make a sculpture we can accommodate your request as they are both glassblowing projects. If you wish to switch from making an ornament to something other than glassblowing then this is entirely dependent on our availability and we cannot guarantee you a spot.
Due to space constraints we can only allow one chaperone per ticket holder to accompany those who may need additional assistance with their project. The Main Make Your Own Glass Workshop is designed so that parents may see all of their children doing a project even if the projects are different. During busy times of the year additional workshop areas are open, during these times it may not always be possible to watch several projects taking place at the same time.
If you would like to make more than one project in the allotted 40 minutes then we ask that they be the same item. For example, you may make two ornaments in the same class (depending on availability) but you cannot make an ornament and a bead. You can make a maximum of 3 glassblowing projects per session (again, they must be the same project) or 2 beads/pendants per session. Additionally, only one sandblasting or fusing project may be booked per 40 minute session.
Your Make Your Own Glass project will be available at noon or after the following day. We cannot guarantee that your project will be ready before this time due to our slow cooling process called annealing. Each project needs an adequate amount of time to cool slowly and evenly otherwise the glass can crack or even break.
If you participate in the final two flameworking (bead or pendant) classes of the day, you will need to allow for two days of cooling as these projects go through a much more involved cooling process. We offer free shipping for the beads and pendants made during these sessions and will supply you with an envelope.
Yes, photography is allowed in the Make Your Own Glass Studio. We ask that you stand behind the glass barrier to take your pictures so as not to crowd the Studio staff and other guests participating in a Make Your Own Glass experience.
Two people cannot share one Make Your Own Glass experience. We have a “one person per project” rule to minimize the number of people moving close to the hot furnaces and torches. You are still able to watch someone participating in a project at a safe distance behind our glass barrier.
We strongly suggest that you make reservations for a Make Your Own Glass experience ahead of time using our online reservation system (http://reservations.cmog.org) or by calling us directly at the Studio at 800.732.6845 (press 2) or 607.438.5000 (direct line). We cannot guarantee availability during school breaks and holidays. Payment is due at the time of placing your reservation.
Unfortunately, we offer no discounts on the Make Your Own Glass experiences. The AAA, 55+, College and Military discounts only apply to general Museum admission.
A Make Your Own Glass experience can take up to 40 minutes. Within this time there is a brief instruction from The Studio staff. The remainder of the time is for you to complete your project. We ask that you arrive for your experience at least 10 minutes prior to the start time. This is especially important during school breaks, holidays and the summer months as our Studio is much busier during these times.
If you purchased your Make Your Own Glass tickets online you can pick them up at the Admissions Lobby desk. The Guest Services staff will find your reservation and print your tickets. You should bring a printed copy of your reservation confirmation in case there are any problems with your reservation. You may also check in at the desk directly inside the doors of The Studio. We recommend checking-in at The Studio if it is less than 20 minutes prior to your reserved time.
Yes, we offer a selection of Make Your Own Glass experiences (sculpture, ornament and some seasonal items) for participants of all ages. If you are still unsure if your child is old enough to blow glass then ask yourself, “Can they follow directions? Can they blow out a birthday candle?” If the answer is yes, then your child will be able to make a blown glass project.
There is no fee to watch others participate in a Make Your Own Glass experience. You may stand behind the glass barrier and watch your family/friends make their glass. Additionally, the Frederick Carder Gallery is directly next to the Make Your Own Glass Studio (free to the public) that you can walk through while you wait.
If your child has special needs you may call us ahead of time so our staff can be prepared to best accommodate your child. Depending on availability, we may be able to schedule your child for a quieter time of day (first or last appointments of the day, typically) so they can get the most out of their experience.
We recommend planning for each Make Your Own Glass experience to take 40 minutes. There is a lot to see and do at the Museum, so we recommend allowing 2-3 hours for your visit. If you have limited time, our Guest Services staff can assist you in planning the most efficient way to see as much of the Museum as possible.
If you cannot pick up your glass the following day we will hold your projects for up to 30 days. If you think you will be returning after 30 days, please call The Studio at 800.732.6845 (press 2) or 607.438.5000 (direct line) so that we can continue to hold it for you. We also offer shipping starting at $17.
If you are unable to pick up your projects the day following your Make Your Own Glass experience, we offer shipping within the United States, starting at $17. The cost will increase depending on the shipping distance and/or the weight of the package. We also offer shipping to Canada at a flat rate of $30. We cannot ship to other international addresses at this time.
We must ship to a home address and cannot ship glass projects to a hotel (if you are traveling for an extended period of time). Additionally, with the exception of flameworking projects (beads and pendants), we are not able to ship to P.O. boxes.
If you are not sure of your travel plans, you can add shipping at a later time by calling The Studio directly at at 800.732.6845 (press 2) or 607.438.5000 (direct line). You will be asked for payment over the phone.
The Studio entrance is located at 1 Museum Way in Corning, NY, on the Museum campus. It is a separate building from the main Museum. A small parking lot separates the two buildings with a designated walkway running in between. If you check-in at the Admissions Lobby our Guest Services staff will provide you with a map and directions to The Studio. From the Admissions Lobby, it takes approximately 5 minutes to walk to The Studio. View a map.
With the exception of sandblasting, all of our hot glass projects need to stay overnight. In order to avoid cracks and breaks in your glass the projects need to undergo a slow and even cooling process called annealing. This process takes place in a separate furnace and your project will be available for pick-up or shipping the following day.
Due to the nature of some of the experiences we have put age restrictions in place to ensure that participants are safe and have the proper skill-level to complete the project. Glassforming and flameworking Make Your Own Glass experiences require you to work very closely to the hot glass/flame. It is important that participants are old enough to follow directions and work with caution. For everyone’s safety, please be sure that the people signing up are the proper age to participate in the more advanced experiences.