50 Reasons to Visit

50 Reasons to Visit

What is the number one thing our guests tell us after they’ve seen The Corning Museum of Glass? They wish they’d planned to spend more time here! Our guests tell us again and again they “had no idea” what was in store. With a wing for 35 centuries of glass art and history, a floor dedicated to glass science and innovation, a stunning Contemporary Art + Design Wing, and the largest hot glass demonstrations space in the world, what’s on view can be browsed in a day or absorbed over a week.

Add a Make Your Own Glass experience, hands-on activities in our Innovation Galleries, one of the country’s largest museum shops, and on-site eateries with fresh, made-to-order items and grab-and-go snacks, and The Corning Museum of Glass has good reason to offer two days of admission for the price of one.

Still not convinced we are a destination rather than a quick visit? Here are 50 Reasons To Visit Today. Use this as a guide to our must-see attractions, and check back often for seasonal changes.

Kids & Teens 17-and-under visit for free

1. Kids & Teens 17-and-under visit for free
Not only are kids welcome, they are welcome to experience the Museum at no cost.

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Snowmen that won’t melt

2. Snowmen that won’t melt
CMoG takes something Upstate NY has plenty of—snow—and somehow makes it cooler. Where else can you find a life-sized family of snow people, including a glass snow dog? Complete with buttons emblazoned with CMoG’s hot spot logo, these guys won’t melt inside but will melt your heart in the dead of winter. On view through February 28.

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The Curious Glass Eye

3. The Curious Glass Eye
Watch the fascinating process that skilled glassmakers follow to craft prosthetic eyes from clear and colored glass rods and tubes and a hot torch. As seen in the exhibition, Curious and Curiouser: Surprising finds from the Rakow Research Library, glass eyes have quite the history. You won’t believe your eyes.

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2300°=One Hot Party

4. 2300°=One Hot Party
Think museums don’t know how to party? Think again. Combining live music, special glassmaking demos, food and drinks, CMoG throws one hot party—called 2300°—that’s not to be missed. These third Thursday events are after hours and are free and open to the public. Join us if you’re in town!

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Raise a Glass!

5. Raise a Glass!
Raise a Glass! is a new video installation that pairs glassware of all shapes and sizes from the collection with historic paintings depicting their use. Can you match the glass to the painting?


Make Your Own Glass Snowman

6. Make Your Own Glass Snowman
Seasonal Make Your Own Glass experiences are the perfect way to take the edge off of a dreary winter day. Check our online schedule to see what’s available right now, and what’s coming.

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See Global Cities

7. See Global Cities
Created by Norwood Viviano, Global Cities is a stunning installation that presents population change as a series of delicately blown glass forms that hover above a map of the world. The angles, curves, and color of each form represent the history of population change over time in the city that it corresponds to on the map. Isn’t it a beautiful thing when art and science come together?

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Gaffer's Choice Demonstration

8. Gaffer's Choice Demonstration
During this two-hour demonstration in the Amphitheater Hot Shop, our team of glassmakers have the opportunity to show off their creativity as artists, making larger and more ornate vases, bowls, or sculptures at the furnace.

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Take a weekend workshop

9. Take a weekend workshop
Now that you know that glass is one cool (okay, very hot) medium, would you like to learn more but don’t think you have enough time? Fall weekend workshops at The Studio are the perfect solution to this conundrum. Sign up to spend a full day or two (it’s up to you) at The Studio. With options like flameworking, glassblowing, sandblasting, and many more, you’ll be able to take the deep dive you’re craving in a way that works for your schedule.

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Jump down the rabbit hole

10. Jump down the rabbit hole
When you visit our latest exhibition, Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds from the Rakow Library, you’ll be surprised at the rarely seen wonders in The Rakow Research Library’s vast collection. From ads for glass eyes to patents for preserving the dead in glass; from glasshouse dollars to drawings by world-famous artists such as Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, and Georgia O’Keeffe: we think you’ll be more than impressed with our curious collections.

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World’s largest space for watching a glassblowing demo

11. World's largest space for watching a glassblowing demo
That’s right, the 2015 addition of the Amphitheater Hot Shop added 500 seats and 360° views for catching a glimpse into the fascinating process of glassblowing. Add in 80-inch digital monitors, a professional video crew, and some of the most talented glassworkers in the business, and you’ll get a much closer look than you ever imagined at this centuries-old craft.

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 Stay a while

12. Stay a while
A little-known perk of this Museum is that admission passes are good for two consecutive days. Good news for those of you who like to take your time when exploring. Just come back the next day and pick up where you left off.

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 Make glass yourself

13. Make glass yourself
One thing is pretty much guaranteed: after watching our talented Hot Glass Demo Team work with hot glass, you’re going to want to try it yourself. So go ahead, try a 40-minute glassmaking experience at The Studio. There are projects for every age, no skill required. (Spots sell-out quickly: we recommend registering in advance of your visit).

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Stunning Architecture

14. Stunning architecture
From concrete beams and skylights to a glass, egg-shaped whisper theater, the Museum uses architecture to hold and highlight a series of very different—but connected—collections. Hot and cold glass demonstrations round out the experience, taking visitors from a giant, state-of-the art hot shop with amphitheater seating, to intimate booths and stages for up-close-and-personal discoveries.

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If the RV fits ...

15. If the RV fits ...
And we know it will. That’s because this Museum provides free RV parking. So add us to your vacation plans, or just make a comfortable stop on your way through the region.

Two is better than one

16. Two is better than one
Corning is also home to The Rockwell Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, which houses an incredible collection of art about the American experience. Pottery, paintings, and textiles are just a few of the things on view. If you want to visit both museums, purchase a combo ticket.

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Inspiration at the Rakow Library

17. Inspiration at the Rakow Library
Made up of hundreds of colorful notes written by our guests, the Inspiration Wall is a 9-foot tall ‘cloud’ of inspiration. Visit the Rakow Library to write about what inspires you and add it to the collection.

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A floating mobile Hot Shop

18. A floating mobile Hot Shop
The Corning Museum of Glass now has an all-new, world-class performance venue. GlassBarge will bring floating Hot Glass Demos to the Museum’s New York State neighbors via the Erie Canal and its connected waterways in 2018. Fun fact: the Museum holds a patent for the all-electric hot shop being used aboard GlassBarge.

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Real glass slippers

19. Real glass slippers
Designed by famed Steuben founder Frederick Carder in 1925, these glass slippers look like they jumped right off the pages of a fairy tale story book. Look carefully in our galleries to find even more shoes.

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And a glass dress

20. And a glass dress
Actually, we have two dresses on display. See life-size castings of intricate drapery by artist Karen LaMonte. Then look closer: beneath the surface of these glass garments are the shapes of the models wearing them.

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Turn up the heat

21. Turn up the heat
Watch flameworkers melt and twist borosilicate glass rods into intricate objects over a torch that hovers around 4,000°F. See everything from small-scale sculptural pieces to glass animals, and even glass eyeballs created before your ... well, eyeballs. It’s hot, Hot, HOT!

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Not your average paperweight

22. Not your average paperweight
What could round out the world’s largest paperweight collection? One of the world’s largest paperweights, of course. This 107-pound whopper could hold down one massive stack of paper. Created in 2006, Josh Simpson’s Megaplanet became the 1,000th paperweight in the Museum’s collection.

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Win glass

23. Win glass
Wondering what this Museum does with all the glass it produces in demonstrations? We give it away! That’s right, beautiful, handmade pieces of glass are sometimes given away at the end of demonstrations. If you’re the lucky visitor, you can take home a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

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35 centuries of glass

24. 35 centuries of glass
The Museum is home to the world’s most in-depth collection of glass, showcasing 3,500 years of artistry and innovation.

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A mile of glass beads

25. A mile of glass beads
What do you get when 50 women hand bead for two years? For artist Liza Lou and a team of Zulu women in Durban, South Africa, it is a mile-long cotton rope covered in 4.5 million glossy black glass beads. Continuous Mile is a show-stopping testament to dedication, patience, and skill found in the hands of a community.

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Glass fruit bigger than a toddler

26. Glass fruit bigger than a toddler
Our giant bowl of stunningly-realistic glass fruit dwarves our smallest visitors – and they love it, citing Still Life with Two Plums as their favorite piece in our collection.

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Award-winning technology will be your guide

27. Award-winning technology will be your guide
GlassApp is an award-winning digital companion for the Contemporary Art + Design Galleries—no downloads required. Simply connect to the FREE Wi-Fi and open your phone’s internet—or use one of our provided iPads—and go to glassapp.cmog.org to learn more about the objects and artists in the galleries.

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Go for the gold trophies

28. Go for the gold trophies
Speaking of GlassApp, you can test your I-spy skills in the Contemporary Art + Design Galleries. Use your own device or one of ours to seek out objects in the collection in our GlassApp Scavenger Hunt. Everything from shapes and colors, to actual items, appear in this fun interactive. Answer questions to win trophies and share your results via social media.

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See all of Corning without leaving the Museum

29. See all of Corning without leaving the Museum
What is almost as iconic as the 200” glass disc it sits beside? Our periscope. Climb up, peer into the viewfinder, and turn around to see a 360-degree view of Corning. Fun fact: The Museum’s periscope was provided by the U.S. Navy.

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New art

30. New art
The Museum collection is always changing. From incredibly detailed cameo glass scent bottles to a chandelier powered by butterfly-shaped solar panels, new acquisitions—and exhibitions—mean there’s always something to see on return visits.

Bettering the environment every day (Photo: Scott Frances)

31. Bettering the environment every day
The Contemporary Art + Design Galleries are a testament to 21st-century architecture and sustainability, and earned LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Green features include the more than 900 skylights, SORAA LED lighting, and both water and energy conserving design modifications.

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Glass in nature

32. Glass in nature
Discover how glass forms without any help from humans. It looks a little different than you might think. From obsidian to a sea creature’s skeleton, see glass take some strange and exotic forms.

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Take the next step

33. Take the next step
Sign up for a class at The Studio. Learn about techniques from blowing and flameworking to casting and coldworking. Classes are available for every skill level from beginners to advanced students. So go for it, get your glass on!

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Steeped in glassmaking tradition

34. Steeped in glassmaking tradition.
The Amphitheater Hot Shop has deep glassmaking roots. The Steuben Glass factory once occupied its exact footprint, meaning world-class glass art has been created in that space for more than 60 years.

Find the faces

35. Find the faces
As you walk through the Museum, see how many faces in glass you can find looking back at you.

Upcycled life-size trees

36. Upcycled life-size trees
See three life-size trees composed entirely of 2,000+ re-purposed drinking glasses. The environmentally-conscious glassmaker, Katherine Gray, culled glasses from many different sources—including a few local shops in Corning—to create her “green” stand of trees. Talk about sustainable art.

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Corning, N.Y., had changed your life

37. Corning, N.Y., has changed your life
You wouldn’t be reading this webpage right now if it weren’t for glass technology created here in Corning—specifically, fiber optics. Every time you tap your smartphone screen, you’re touching glass invented here in Corning. How often do you use your Pyrex measuring cup or casserole dish? Corning again. Our collection covers 35 centuries of stories in glass, but you can also learn how Corning has changed the world through glass innovation.

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See all of Corning's downtown

38. See all of Corning's downtown
When you’ve finished your visit or want to break for a trip to Corning’s historic Gaffer District (including The Rockwell Museum), board our free shuttle bus. It travels a continuous 15-minute loop and makes several stops along the way. Board it at any stop to return to the Museum or Visitor Center parking lot.

11 acres to explore

39. 11 acres to explore
There’s more to CMoG than what could possibly fit in one building. Just a short stroll from our main collections and demonstration spaces, you’ll find a state-of-the-art glassmaking school and additional galleries, as well as the foremost research library on glass, complete with its own exhibitions. And everything’s completely accessible to the public.

Big-city museum; small-town charm

40. Big-city museum; small-town charm
When you step into the lobby and see the Dale Chihuly’s 15-foot Fern Green Tower, you’ll realize The Corning Museum of Glass is a world-class facility. But you can skip the cab rides and long lines associated with big-city museums: CMoG is nestled in charming Corning, N.Y.—a historic and easily accessible gem of the Finger Lakes Region.

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A million-dollar view

41. A million-dollar view
Picture the most idyllic view you could want from your home. This one of the Hudson River was so spectacular, Louis C. Tiffany was commissioned to capture it in a stained glass window. Transport yourself to spring on the Hudson—complete with flowering hollyhocks, trumpet creepers, and clematis flowers—when you take a photo in front of this Museum favorite.

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Broken glass + taxidermied crows = crazy cool art

42. Broken glass + taxidermied crows = crazy cool art
You might think a glass museum would be averse to showing off broken objects—but this one was broken on purpose. This shattered, blood-red chandelier was literally dropped from a ceiling, and is being picked over by taxidermied crows carrying small bits of glass away in their beaks. Drama at its finest.

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Shop'til you drop

43. Shop 'til you drop
The Corning Museum of Glass has one of the largest museum shops in the country. Seriously, it rivals a small department store. From high-end art glass to exhibit-related items to jewelry to kitchen necessities, it’s all here.

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Lectures you don't want to miss

44. Lectures you don't want to miss
Attending lectures is not just for college students. The Museum often brings informative, interactive lectures to our community. Lectures are always free and open to the public so you can pop in for an hour to listen in as experts discuss everything from art and history, to cider tastings, and what it takes to be a working artist. It’s a like a podcast ... but in person.

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Hot spot selfies

45. Hot spot selfie
Join the club and take a selfie with the famous CMoG Hot Spot sculpture in our courtyard. No two pictures ever seem to be alike, as creative guests find new poses in, on, and around the Hot Spot.

Glass from ancient Egyptian royals

46. Glass from ancient Egyptian royals
Try to decipher the mysteries behind a royal family’s portraits and belongings in glass – including how those colors and shapes were realized at the dawn of glassmaking in the 15th century BC.

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Break glass

47. Break glass
We’re pretty sure breaking glass at a glass museum is generally frowned upon. Not here! Our mission is to tell the story of glass, which includes why and how different glasses break in different ways. Check out our GlassBreaking Demo, and help pulverize different kinds of glass (with supervision and safety gear of course).

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CMoG cares about your data plan

48. CMoG cares about your data plan
We offer free Wi-Fi so you can be #connected without worry. Running low on battery power? Stop at one of our campus-wide charging stations for a little extra juice.

That's a LOT of casseroles

49. That's a LOT of casseroles
We all have a milk-white casserole dish or two that we use for favorite family recipes. Did you know this heat-resistant glass, a glass ceramic, was the result of a complete accident? At CMoG, you can learn the story and see a tower of these casserole dishes. Try to guess how many are stacked high to the ceiling.

We can fill your glass, too

50. We can fill your glass, too
The Corning Museum of Glass is located in renowned Finger Lakes Wine Country, filled with world-class wineries, craft breweries, cideries, and distilleries. Discover why readers of Budget Travel magazine named it the most beautiful wine region in the world. You’ll want to sip and savor the flavors of Wine Country during your extended visit.

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