Session Schedule

Session Schedule

All sessions take place in the Auditorium of The Corning Museum of Glass, unless otherwise noted. Schedule is subject to change.

Thursday, October 15

6 pm to 8 pm
Opening Reception

In town early for Seminar? Join us at the Museum for this opening reception sponsored by World Kitchen.

Friday, October 16

8 am to 9 am
Registration/Light Breakfast 

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9 am to 9:30 am
Welcome and New Acquisitions
Dr. Karol Wight, President and Executive Director, The Corning Museum of Glass

9:30 am to 10:15 am
Pyrex Exhibition and Website

10:15 am to 10:45 am
Coffee Break

10:45 am to 11:30 am
Pyrex and Material Culture Studies

J. Ritchie Garrison, Director of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture and Department Chair, Material Culture, University of Delaware
Scholars’ questions about things and their relationship to the humanities often center on the consideration of design, history, and meaning, treating objects as illustrations of human behavior. The presentation opens by considering a Pyrex juicer (ca. 1925) and three lemons. The image of these things—three perishable and one more durable—stands in for a real world that seems stable but is constantly shifting. The lemons organize the juicer, just as it organizes the production of juice. Humans set many of these relationships in motion but are never entirely in charge of their own destiny or the things surrounding them. 

11:30 am to 12:15 pm
The Pyrex Pioneers
Professor Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society at the University of Leeds, UK

What does it take to innovate? This talk examines the early history of Pyrex glassware, developed by Corning Glass Works to complement the demand cycle for railroad signal glass. Tradition holds that Pyrex ovenware was born in a “eureka moment” in a Corning kitchen, but the real story is far more complex and interesting. The Pyrex innovation involved a famous geophysicist, a renowned domestic scientist, and Madison Avenue. To get the “woman’s viewpoint,” Corning established one of America’s leading corporate home economics departments, led by the indomitable Lucy Maltby. The “eureka moment” is only part of the innovation story. 

12:15 pm to 1:30 pm
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1:30 pm to 2:15 pm
Design Education and Home Economics: Aesthetics Alongside Functionality
Denise Green
Lucy Maltby, pioneer of the Pyrex test kitchen, contributed to the successful production (and longevity) of Pyrex. Attending Cornell’s School of Home Economics in 1917, she explored design and its power to affect and shape human lives. This talk examines the impact of Maltby’s design education on Pyrex product development in the mid-late 20th century, illustrates relationships between Pyrex and other forms of kitchen-based material culture of the period; and highlights secondary markets and informal economies where “vintage” Pyrex is sold at flea markets, second-hand stores, online venues and garage sales.

2:15 pm to 3 pm
Pyrex and the Architecture of the American Kitchen
Elizabeth Cromley, Emeritus Professor, School of Architecture, Northeastern University
Cooks, homemakers, maids, and others employing Pyrex used it in kitchens, pantries, dining rooms, and other food-related spaces in their houses. These spaces changed in American homes in the 20th century. Around 1910, plans included a kitchen, a separate space with an ice box, and, in wealthier homes, a dedicated dining room and pantry. The 1920s and ‘30s saw smaller kitchens incorporating pantry storage and refrigerators, and the adoption of separate dining rooms in working class homes. The 1970s brought a spatial shift as house plans opened and dining spaces became part of the kitchen, making cooking a social activity.

3 pm to 3:30 pm
Coffee Break

3:30 pm to 4:15 pm
Seeing American Women Through Pyrex

Katherine Parkin, Associate Professor of History at Monmouth University
One hundred years of Pyrex advertising reveals a great deal about the company’s understanding of American women. Constrained initially by a clear product, Pyrex made effective sales pitches by celebrating their ingenuity. One conundrum pervaded: What made women good cooks? Ads reflected this tension, claiming it was Pyrex products that made the food good, but delicately, so as to not offend women’s expertise in the kitchen. Advertising positioned Pyrex as the ideal gift for three principal events – Mother’s Day, Christmas, and a bridal shower – central to a smoothly operating kitchen and women’s identity in fulfilling their domestic roles.  

4:30 pm (Auditorium Lobby)
Guided Gallery Tours

Please choose one tour or explore the galleries on your own. Sign up in advance at the registration table. Tours are limited to 20 participants.

6:15 pm

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Saturday, October 17

9 am to 10 am
Light Breakfast

View Menu

10 am to 11 am
Designing Pyrex Panel
Led by Rob Cassetti, Senior Director, Creative Services & Marketing, The Corning Museum of Glass

Designers will share stories and the challenges of bringing new Pyrex designs from the drawing board to store shelves across America in the 1970s and 80s. Corning Consumer Products relied on staff designers to work closely with engineering, marketing and manufacturing to develop and introduce successful new designs. Discussion will also explore the importance of consumer testing and test kitchen feedback in the development of new designs.
Panelists: Herb Dann, Anna Eide, Jerry Wright and Dennis Younge

11 am to 11:45 am
International Pyrex (UK and Australia)
Stan Savellis, Managing Director of the That Retro Piece and Editor in Chief of the

In the U.S. Pyrex is thought of as a quintessential American product, but it is also collected internationally. Learn about the history and patterns of JAJ Pyrex/Pyrex England and Agee/Crown Pyrex in Australia in this international take on Pyrex presented by the organizer and administrator of

11:45 am to 12:30 pm
What is America’s Favorite Dish?
Susan M. Rossi-Wilcox
Pyrex revolutionized concepts in food preparation for the homemaker. For the first time, transparent oven and stovetop vessels allowed the preparer to monitor the cooking process. Conveniently, the same cookware could be used to prepare, refrigerate, cook, serve, and store food. Over the decades, Pyrex cookware became an economical and indispensable item for everyone’s kitchen – from inexperienced brides to famous chefs. This talk will discuss cooking trends, with a particular focus on the cultural context of the 1953 edition of the cookbook Pyrex Prize Recipes

12:30 pm to 2 pm
Box Lunch and Book Signing

2 pm to 3 pm
Guided Gallery Tours

Please choose one tour or explore the galleries on your own. Sign up in advance at the registration table. Tours are limited to 20 participants.

3 pm to 3:30 pm
Coffee Break

3:30 pm to 5 pm
Celebrating a Century of Americana: Collecting Pyrex, Collecting Culture
Led by Tina Oldknow, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass

The collectors' panel, "Celebrating a Century of Americana: Collecting Pyrex, Collecting Culture," features 5 experienced collectors in the field of Pyrex acquisition and research, who will enlighten and entertain with advice about America's favorite dish. If you have ever wondered about collecting Pyrex kitchenware, this panel is for you! Come with your questions!

Can’t make it to The Corning Museum of Glass for Seminar? Join us online via live stream for the Collectors Panel. Check back here for information on how to watch.


Doug DeCota
Doug DeCota was born and raised in central Illinois. He relocated to southeastern Louisiana after high school and earned a degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans. Employed in the field of transportation logistics, he is...
Allison Kapner
Allison is a 2nd generation native Floridian, and is an attorney specializing in family law. She has practiced law with her father for the past 15 years, and recently joined the law firm of Ward Damon, where she is a partner. Allison's love for...
Megan McGrady
Megan McGrady is an avid collector and historian of all things vintage Pyrex. After receiving a set of Autumn Harvest casseroles as a gift from her mom, she caught the collecting bug and has never looked back. Her mission is to help document and...
Fred Miller
Fred Miller’s earliest memory of Pyrex was when he was a young boy. His grandparents used to give him coffee out of a 723 blue stripe mug before they would send him home to his parents. He has been collecting Pyrex for many years and always looking...
Dianne M. Williams
Following a thirty-two year career in education, as a teacher and a librarian, Dianne’s interest turned to collecting Pyrex® Ware in 2004 during trips with her son (Pyrex photographer and collaborator) looking for “antique glassware.”  She became...

5 pm to 7 pm
Dealer Fair

Rakow Research Library Hours (during Seminar only)

Thursday October 15 9 am to 7 pm
Friday October 16 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday October 17 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday October 18 9 am to 5 pm