Glassy-eyed Travel: Corning Museum

Corning Museum Beaded Glass Bracelets

Continuing our Summer Travel series that focuses on places now open and ready for tourists, here’s another of our Places To See for those of you venturing forth whether near or far.

. . . as a material, [glass] has properties and characteristics we are only beginning to understand.

Adam Savage, TV Host
Chihuly Glass Corning
Greeting you at the entrance is this stunning creation by glass artist Dale Chihuly.

If your travels take you to the Finger Lake Region of New York, be sure to make time to see Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY. You’ll be dazzled from the start!

Mark Matthews Glass Corning Museum
On sale in the Gift Shop: colorful orbs from Mark Matthews of Ohio

With a nod to showcasing the best of vintage and contemporary glass and offering demonstrations, hands-on activities, and gifts to take back home, Corning Museum is a place for all ages. And the best news of all: it’s open (masks optional for fully vaccinated visitors) from 9 to 7 daily!

Because we love museums for their antiquities, it’s no surprise that we spent the bulk of our time looking at vintage pieces revered for their role in the evolution of glass or their importance in the history of the art form. Armed with a map of the second-floor galleries, we spent the bulk of our time in 35 Centuries of Glass — marveling at early vessels, pieces commissioned and used by royalty, and art forms we’d only read about before.

But if new art forms appeal to you, take a few steps further on the second floor to Contemporary Art + Design Galleries for artistry housed in pristine white rooms. It makes quite an impact.

Contemporary Art + Design Gallery, Corning Museum
Corning Museum’s Contemporary Art + Design Galleries
Contemporary Vases Corning Museum
Amber Gum Tree Leaf, Ruby Gum Tree Leaf, and Peridot Gum Tree Leaf by Dante Marioni of Seattle, Washington

Hands-on demos and glass-blowing demos are also available. Be sure to pick up a list of offerings when you buy your tickets. On the day we visited, two glass blowers walked the audience through the process of shaping a glass pitcher during a Hot Glass Demo in the auditorium. Our appreciation for the art form went way up!

Glass Demo Corning Museum

But after perusing the galleries, reading the history, marveling at contemporary glass, and applauding the demos, we landed where we usually do at museums: the Gift Shop! With knowledgeable staff members, collections by notable artists, and affordable gifts, we spent quality time (and money) bringing pieces of Corning Glass back home!

Guess you could say we were officially Glass Nerds, but then again, that might be a stretch.

Corning Museum Glass Nerd Tshirt

For summer travel, put Corning Museum of Glass on your list if you’re in New York. Visually, it’s a treat — a grand one at that. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself knowing more than you did when you arrived about the art of glass making. We certainly did.

I can’t imagine a world without glass.

Jamie Hyneman, TV Host

For hours, admission, and layout of the Corning Museum, check out their website.

Travel glassy-eyed,

Rusha & Bert

27 thoughts on “Glassy-eyed Travel: Corning Museum


    Rusha, this place has been on my list forever, and I was pleased to read your post and see your excellent photos. Since you’ve followed our blog for a while you may know that, while we don’t qualify as “glass nerds,” we certainly do like our glass, so it was a pleasure to read your post.

    Like you, I enjoy the vintage stuff, but I must admit, it’s wonderful to see modern artisans putting their own twist on the art form. As for the glass gift shop, I look but normally don’t buy, which takes a great effort. Take care and enjoy your travels. ~James

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      We’re not glass nerds either, but now I look at the art forms a bit differently. After examining all the vintage glass and new, remarkable creations at Corning, we broke out in big smiles as we pointed to the Pyrex measuring cups we own and use daily at home! Glass is cool!

  2. Rose

    This would be an interesting place to visit. I like the photo of the glass ornaments and am curious how they were made exactly. We attended a glass blowing presentation on a tour in Italy. It was fascinating to see how creative the artists were, and how fast they had to work to develop their design. In the heart of Venice, we toured the Glass Factory, Vecchia Murano, and came home with a few small glass art pieces.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      You’re fortunate to have gone to the Venetian factory — I’d love that! And yes, the whole Corning Glass Museum is pretty wonderful — lots to see and do . . . and buy! I’d love another trip. Thanks for your comments.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Like that “blown away” comment — and that’s just what we were while visiting Corning Museum. At every turn, so many pretty sights. It’s hard to believe that the curators have one of just about everything you can think of, but there’s probably an equal amount in the world waiting for its turn to be in this museum. A wonderful place!

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      We are as well, Dawn. And it was a great museum visit — not too overwhelming and plenty of opportunities to sit and enjoy demos and lunch to break up the day. Thanks for commenting.

  3. kzmcb

    It looks like JUST the place that we would visit, too. I love watching the glass makers and seeing the beautiful, colorful end products.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      We’d love to visit Kew Gardens!! I’ve heard so much good about it. Chihuly is a favorite of ours, and an lawn exhibit has been installed both at Biltmore House in North Carolina and Cheekwood in Nashville, TN. Always a favorite artist for us!

      1. Oh, the Places We See

        This could be one of my favorite USA museums — not just for what you can see and learn but also what you can do hands-on. If you get a chance, please go. Thanks for commenting.

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