Collections at The Corning Museum of Glass



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Collections at The Corning Museum of Glass

The Corning Museum of Glass is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of glass. Encompassing more than 3,500 years of human ingenuity and spanning the globe, the collection of 45,000 objects ranges from ancient Egyptian and Venetian masterpieces to works by contemporary artists.


Origins of Glassmaking

The ingenuity of the earliest glassmakers is explored through vessels, jewelry, and sculptural objects from ancient Egypt, Western Asia and the Hellenistic world of the eastern Mediterranean.


Highlights include:

  • One of the earliest known glass portraits, a rare ancient glass sculpture of an Egyptian king dating from the late 18th Dynasty, about 1450–1400 B.C.

  • An Assyrian vase, one of an early series of cast and cold-worked forms.

  • Glass and faience bead necklaces from Mycenaean southern Greece.

  • Hellenistic luxury glass, including lace mosaic and gold sandwich bowls.


Glass of the Romans

The Romans are credited with the discovery of glassblowing and also created some of the most lavish luxury glass ever made. The Corning Museum’s collection encompasses rare and sumptuous examples of ancient cage cups, mosaic, cameo, and gold glass.


Highlights include:

  • A suspended cage cup from the early fourth century A.D., an exceptional luxury item likely used as a lamp.

  • The Populania Bottle, an outstanding example of a late Roman vessel with wheel-abraded decoration.

  • The Morgan cup, a rare early Roman cameo vessel decorated with a bas-relief continuous frieze, once owned by J. Pierpont Morgan.

  • A serving dish cover in the form of a fish from the first century A.D.


Glass of the Islamic World

Glassmaking flourished in Egypt and the Middle East at the time of the Arab conquest in the seventh century. Islamic craftsmen discovered glass staining and revived and rediscovered ancient techniques. The Corning Museum’s collection includes richly enameled and gilded glasses, mold blown decorative objects, mosaic, and cut and engraved glass.



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Highlights include:



  • The earliest known example of an Islamic drinking horn (only two other Islamic glass drinking horns are known).

  • An enameled and gilded vase, the most celebrated type of Islamic glass, from 14th- century Egypt or Syria.

  • The Corning Ewer, a cameo glass vessel of the 10th century.


European Glass

The Corning Museum has rich collections of European glass from all time periods and representing all historic techniques and styles.


Highlights include:

  • The Behaim beaker, a Venetian enameled glass that commemorates a marriage held in 1495.

  • Numerous outstanding examples Venetian cristallo and filigrana glass.

  • A gold ruby goblet that was made in the glasshouse of the German alchemist and glassmaker Johann Kunckel.

  • A lampworked tableau from 1790 depicting Marie Antoinette and lamenting the demise of the aristocracy during the French Revolution.


Asian Glass

The Corning Museum has collections of carved ceremonial objects from Qing Dynasty China, blown and cut vessels from Edo period Japan, beaded containers from Indonesia and luxury glassware from India, among other fine examples of Asian glass production.


Highlights include:

  • The Warrior Vase, an elaborately decorated ruby glass vessel from China, dated to the Qianlong period.

  • A set of four 18th-century bottles from the Mughal Empire in India with opulent gilded and enameled decoration.

  • A sakazuki set from 19th-century Japan, used for ceremonial sake drinking.

  • Three beaded wedding baskets from Indonesia.


American Glass

Glassmaking was America’s first industry: Colonists built a glasshouse in Jamestown, Virginia in 1608. The glasshouse closed shortly thereafter, and although others were started, few were successful until the 19th century. After 1812, glass manufacturing greatly increased, and in the 1820s, American glassmakers invented a hand-operated glass pressing machine, which made production much faster and more cost effective.


Highlights include:

  • One of only three marked bottles from the Wistar factory, the first successful glass factory in the Colonies.

  • One of the earliest known dated pieces of American glass: A covered tumbler, produced in 1788 at the factory of John Frederick Amelung.

  • Early examples of pressed glass from the Boston & Sandwich Glass Company and others.

  • A four-layer vase made at the New England Glass Company around 1848.

  • Examples of elaborately decorated art glass and cut glass from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.




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Modern Glass

The Corning Museum holds an international collection of art glass vessels, design, decorative objects, sculpture, stained glass, furniture and lighting dating from the 1880s through the 1950s.


Highlights include:

  • Art Nouveau vases by Emile Gallé, Louis Comfort Tiffany,and  Johann Loetz Witwe.

  • Stained glass by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Frank Lloyd Wright.

  • Pâte de verre sculptures and vessels by Gabriel Argy-Rousseau, Francois Decorchemont, and Georges Despret

  • Early Modernist designs by Peter Behrens, Josef Hoffman, and Kolomon Moser

  • Glass furnishings, including lighting by René Lalique and Gerrit Rietveld.

  • Art Deco vases by Marcel Goupy, Rene Lalique, and Napoleone Martinuzzi

  • Early studio glass by Maurice Marinot and Jean Sala.

  • Italian, Scandinavian and Czech glass design from the 1950s.


Contemporary Glass

In 1962, art in glass was dramatically transformed with the beginning of the Studio Glass movement in the United States, and its subsequent development worldwide. The Corning Museum has broad holdings in contemporary studio glass, including vessels, objects, sculptures, and installations.


Highlights include:

  • Large-scale glass sculpture and wall pieces from the late 1960s and 1970s by Harvey Littleton, Dominick Labino and Christopher Wilmarth.

  • An extensive collection of cast glass sculpture, including the first architectural installation in the United States, by Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová.

  • A selection of early vessels and recent sculpture by Dale Chihuly.

  • A wide range of vessel-based works by international artists such as Richard Marquis, Dante Marioni, Yoichi Ohira, Klaus Moje, Gaetano Pesce, František Vízner, Laura de Santillana, and Toots Zynsky.

  • Large-scale sculpture and installations by Howard Ben Tré, Vaclav Cigler, Jun Kaneko, Silvia Levenson, Dan Clayman, Marian Karel, Karen LaMonte, Josiah McElheny, Clifford Rainey, Robert Rauschenberg, Kiki Smith, Lino Tagliapietra and Bertil Vallien.


Study Gallery

Additionally, the Museum houses a study gallery in which a myriad of glass objects from all periods is on display for the public. The objects included in this gallery are arranged by origin, allowing for comparative analysis of a single form across cultures and centuries. Also on view is the permanent exhibition Paperweights of the World, one of the world’s largest collections of glass paperweights. Adjacent to The Studio at the Museum is the Carder Gallery, which traces the prolific career and creations of Frederick Carder, the gifted English designer who managed Steuben Glass Works for many years.


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For more information, please contact:


Molly Kurzius / Christine D’Aleo

Yvette Sterbenk / Dara Riegel

Resnicow Schroeder Associates

Corning Museum of Glass

(212) 671-5157 / 5178

(607) 438-5273 / 5265

mkurzius / cdaleo@resnicowschroeder.com

sterbenkym / riegeldc@cmog.org



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