When people visit The Corning Museum of Glass, they are usually surprised by the sheer size of the Glass Collection. We repeatedly hear our guests say, “I had no idea . . . !” About 40 percent of our 50,000 objects are always on display. With that many objects, picking favorites can be tough. Here are our Top 10 Favorites, but keep watching; they may change!
- ArtworkGlass is a wonderful medium for expressing illusion. This five-part cast-glass sculpture by Karen LaMonte weighs half a ton, but it looks as light as a feather. The sculpture is hollow, but suggests a body inside the dress.
- ArtworkArtist Jill Reynolds comes from a large family. She represents the ties that bind her and her siblings by showing each person’s name as a cluster of letters, and by connecting the clusters. Names represented include Paul, Shaun, Chris, Tracy, Damien, Regina, Sheila, Martha, Molly, Jill, Peggy, and Siobhan.
- ArtworkThis small masterpiece is a 3,500-year-old portrait of an Egyptian king. Under certain conditions, glass “weathers” (deteriorates). When it was new, the head was deep blue. Centuries of burial have altered the surface to a stone-like tan color.
- ArtworkCage cups were made by Roman glasscutters in the fourth century A.D. The entire vessel was cut from a thick-walled glass hemisphere. The metal attachments show that the object was a hanging lamp. Imagine the shadows the “cage” would have cast as the lamplight flickered.
- ArtworkTwo hundred years ago, craftsmen at the Imperial Glassworks in St. Petersburg, Russia, made this table for the family of the czar. Russian glassmakers made furniture and impressive ornaments to adorn the royal palaces.
- ArtworkThis small mosaic in a gilded frame looks like an oil painting from a distance. However, surprisingly, it is made of thousands of glass tiles, some no larger than the head of a pin.
- ArtworkThis window, decorated with hollyhocks, trumpet vines, and wisteria, came from a mansion overlooking the Hudson River. Many of us have seen stained glass windows in places of worship, but this one was made for a private home. It is one of the three most-photographed objects at the Museum.
- ArtworkScottish artist Eric Hilton designed Innerland and master engravers at Steuben Glass translated Hilton’s dream into tangible form. Wherever you look, you will find a different inner land. 38 pieces of glass make up 25 cubes in this stunning creation.
- ArtworkJosef Hoffmann was an architect who believed that the secret of good design often lay in simplicity. He designed functional objects such as this set of tableware made in Austria in 1916.
- ArtworkThis giant disk, made in Corning, was intended to be the mirror for the famous Hale Telescope on Palomar Mountain in California. The disk, however, was fatally flawed and it never left Corning. A second successful attempt is now an essential part of the telescope.