Our Happy Halloween picture of the World’s largest blown glass pumpkin was a good segway to this post as it is on display each Fall at the Corning Museum of Glass.
With the Federal Government shutdown our plans to see more of the Finger Lakes changed. Our reservations at Ives Run (a COE campground) were cancelled. One place we both wanted to see was the Corning Museum of Glass. So we drove an hour and a half to Corning from our camp at Letchworth SP. It was well worth the effort. CMOG is the largest museum in the world devoted to glass… and it’s getting bigger. In 2014 they will add a 100,000 square foot addition to the already extensive collection. Is this where we say “When we come back?”
When you come, for this is a must see museum, plan on spending the whole day. There are several demonstrations scheduled throughout the day from glass blowing to a discussion on fiber optics. In the same area are educational displays about glass making. One item you probably have in your kitchen and never gave much thought to how it is made. There is a tower of glass casserole dishes showing the many steps involved in making a Corning ware casserole. The demonstrations are free with your admission ticket and you can get a schedule of show times at the information desk.
Be sure and sign up for one of the two docent led tours of the galleries as the number of people is limited. The tour lasts approximately an hour and provides great information about the extensive collection. We then went back to some areas we wanted to explore in depth. The historical galleries are arranged so you see a representation of the period. If you are interested in learning more you walk behind the showcase for a more extensive display. For those wanting to research a specific period or style (for example cameo glass or Roman glass) there is yet another display by type. For the truly scholastic in another building is the library. If you have an unanswered question the librarians will do research and answer by e-mail. There are exhibits of cameo glass, paperweights, contemporary art glass and the history of Corning and the glass industry. When we were there they had a special exhibit about glass beads called Life On A String.
CMOG has an extensive collection of paperweights. To celebrate the addition of the 1,000th item the museum commissioned artist Josh Simpson to create one of his Megaplanet sculptures. This was his first 100 pound ball and the largest in CMOG’s collection.
Many of the photos we took were done with the idea of using the designs in making photo orbs, a Photoshop technique for turning photos into artwork. If you are not overdosed on glass by the time you toured the galleries take a walk over to another building to see a collection devoted to Steuben glass.
There are other museums in the Finger Lakes area as well as Seneca Lake, NPS sites and many vineyards. So we took a drive and checked out Sampson SP as a future site for a return visit. Good thing we did. There are some low railroad bridges the trailer wouldn’t clear if we came down from the north. Hopefully our truck/RV GPS is programmed to avoid these but who knows. We’ll be OK if we approach from the south. There’s no substitute for first hand knowledge.