My next few posts are going to be pictures from the Corning Glass Museum.
This is part of my series “Shameless Plugs for Upstate New York” – – my icy, crumbling, semi-medieval homeland.
The museum is a highlight of the “Southern Tier.”
This is the area along the Pennsylvania border, more often synonymous with job loss, aging population, and population loss.
Unless you’re making cheese, or meth, you’re often unemployed.
So Corning, NY, about four hours from New York City, seems a strange setting for a huge, rich treasure trove of ancient and modern glass – – that symbol of beauty, fragility, and civilization.
The explanation is the Corning Glass Company — operating here since 1868.
They’ve made glassware, windshields, Pyrex, Corelle, the telescope mirror for the Palomar Observatory, photochromatic lenses, and the glass for Edison’s light bulbs.
One of their offshoots, Steuben Glass, now defunct, made engraved pieces, for more than a century, that the White House used to present to foreign dignitaries, etc.
More recently, the company’s invented catalytic converters, touchscreens, and fiber optic cable.
But getting back to the museum.
Artists make pilgrimages here from around the world.
The bowl in the photograph has been on display, I think, since the 1980’s, and has always been one my favorites.
“Cityscape” is by Jay Munger, a California artist.
A Pyrex bowl, cut, sandblasted, and painted.