Ancient Roman vases and modern European stained-glass windows are hard to come by.
In fact, it’s unlikely you’ll find such things under the same roof unless you travel to the Corning Museum of Glass, located in the Southern Tier of New York.
“Our collection features more than 45,000 pieces of glass, spanning 35 centuries, including the most innovative new expressions in contemporary glass,” says Dara Riegel, communications specialist at the museum.
In addition to viewing these delicate gems, visitors can create their own masterpiece at the Make Your Own Glass workshop.
“We saw [an instructor] make this gorgeous bowl, and at the very end he informed everyone that it had a flaw in it, and he broke it,” says Jennifer Mattes, a visitor from Palmyra, N.Y. “We couldn’t be-lieve he did it but understood when he said all their pieces have to be perfect.”
New in April will be Curiosities of Glassmaking, an exhibit featuring the museum’s most mysterious and unusual objects (think prosthetic eyes and glass grenades). It is exhibits like this that Larry DeBel-lis of Churchville, N.Y., most appreciates.
“[The museum] does such an effective job of illustrating the marriage of cutting-edge science and the creation of beautiful art,” DeBellis says. “Making that kind of marriage work so convincingly is a thing of beauty in itself.”
1 Museum Way, Corning, N.Y.; 1-800-732-6845 or www.cmog.org