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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
Rusha & Bert