The Corning Museum of Glass, founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works as its 100th anniversary gift to America, is a museum dedicated entirely to the history, art, and science of glass. It is located in the small city of Corning at the heart of Western New York’s Finger Lakes region. An ideal destination for a weekend roadtrip, Corning is only a short 3 hour drive across the border from Toronto.
Since it’s foundation, the museum has undergone several transformations to accommodate its impressive and ever-growing number of artifacts, making it the most comprehensive and celebrated glass collection in the world. The museum architecture and design is in itself a notable attraction. Today the main exhibition areas are centered around the Glass Innovation Center which serves as the museum hub with frequent workshops and demos highlighting glass science and technology. There is an entire auditorium dedicated to showcasing the art of glassblowing, and a large museum store where you can purchase all things glass (CorningWare, anyone?).
The most recent addition to CMoG is the new Contemporary Art + Design Wing, which opened just last year and is the world’s largest gallery space featuring modern glass art installations. It is almost entirely lit by natural light, and for me was the highlight of the visit.
While you can certainly power through the galleries (like we did in a little under four hours), the sheer volume of exhibits at the museum – some 45,000 of them – warrants multiple visits for a more relaxed experience. Just one more reason to make your way to Corning when you’re in New York state.