Established in 1951 by Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated) as a gift to the nation for the company’s 100th anniversary, The Corning Museum of Glass is a not-for-profit museum dedicated to exploring a single material: glass. Annually welcoming just under half a million visitors from around the world, the Museum's campus is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of glass, the world’s foremost library on glass, and one of the top glassworking schools in the world.
Glass is a versatile, ancient material that is still being explored and understood by artists, scientists and historians today. The story of glass is a story about art, history, culture, technology, science, craft and design.
Over 50,000 objects representing more than 3,500 years of history are included in the Museum’s collection; items range from the portrait of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh to contemporary sculpture. The Museum’s highly regarded curators and librarians actively acquire materials; and curators, librarians, educators and artists organize special on-campus and traveling exhibitions; teach; conduct and publish extensive research; host numerous artist residencies and public presentations; and showcase daily demonstrations of contemporary glassworking. The Corning Museum of Glass’ authority on glass art is felt around the world.
Guests can learn about the science and technology behind innovations in glass through hands-on exhibits in the science and technology gallery, called the Innovation Center. They can explore the concepts behind optics, vessels and windows and meet the innovators who have changed our world using glass.
The Museum is a center for glass scholarship. A key component of the institution is The Juliette K. and Leonard S. Rakow Research Library: the world’s foremost library on the art, history and science of glass and glassworking. The Rakow’s mission is to acquire everything published on the subject of glass, in every format and in every language. This invaluable resource for scholars and artists also offers an exhibition space for curated exhibitions that bridge the Library’s rich collections with rare books, objects, materials and stories that interpret the Museum’s various collections in exciting and inspiring ways. In addition, the Museum regularly publishes journals, educational videos and scholarly publications—many of which can be accessed on its content-rich website. Both the Rakow and glass collections are available on the website and are fully searchable across both collections.
The Museum brings glass to life through live, narrated glassworking demonstrations. Some of these daily demonstrations take place in a renovated historic glass factory building that contains one of the world’s largest facilities of its kind, with auditorium-style seating for 500. The Museum also offers live Hot Glass Demos on The Road with its traveling hotshop for those who can’t actually visit Corning.
To enable visitors to try their own hand at making glass, the Museum offers Make Your Own Glass sessions for beginners. Our internationally renowned glassworking school, The Studio, offers more intensive courses in all levels of glassworking year-round.
Even the 10-acre campus of The Corning Museum of Glass is a unique collection of modern glass, as displayed in its architecture. The Museum’s buildings have been influenced by three distinct generations of architects, all of whom shared the goal of creating a fluid space and incorporating glass wherever possible. The effect is powerful. In 2007, the public voted The Corning Museum of Glass as #136 on a list of America’s 150 favorite buildings, in a poll conducted by The American Institute of Architects.
The most recent addition to the Museum, opened in March 2015, is a 100,000-square-foot Contemporary Art + Design Wing which includes a 26,000-square-foot gallery. It is the largest space anywhere dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in glass. Karol Wight, the institution’s president and executive director, has observed, “The opening of the Contemporary Art + Design Wing was a pivotal moment for the Museum. CMoG provides the rare opportunity to experience the medium’s complete and complex history, appreciate its application as an artistic medium, and witness and participate in its creation all in one place. Contemporary artists are taking glass to a new scale, and our new wing allows us to showcase these monumental works in an ideal viewing atmosphere.”
In all of its facets, the Museum is a dynamic institution that continues to actively collect, educate, preserve and share the experience of the art, history, and science of glass.
To be the international leader in transforming the world’s understanding of the art, history and science of glass.
We inspire people to see glass in a new light.
We strive for excellence in everything we do. Our collections, visitor experiences, educational programs, staff and facilities are world-class. We are proud to represent the Museum.
We preserve and enhance our collections, facilities, intellectual property, and financial resources. We are privileged to be responsible for and share a significant part of the world’s heritage of glass.
We uphold the highest professional standards. We are accountable for our words and actions and we act responsibly and ethically in everything we do.
We actively work together to create a respectful, diverse, and inclusive environment, making the Museum accessible and welcoming to everyone. We respect that each person is unique and appreciate that diversity strengthens us.
We enrich and engage our local and global communities by sharing our knowledge, collections, programs, facilities, and resources.
We value our staff and enable them to participate, develop, and grow. We recognize that each individual contributes to the success of the Museum.
The Corning Museum of Glass has historically focused on telling the story of glass unrelated to issues of equity and inclusion. Today we recognize this approach excludes the breadth of contributions and ideas of diverse peoples and cultures past and present. By failing to acknowledge and address these exclusions, we play a role in perpetuating them.
We know we can do better.
Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, and measuring our progress are commitments that are shaping the future of our Museum. We are actively fostering a culture and community of inclusion that promotes, respects, and celebrates all aspects of diversity.
Our actions will help us become more culturally responsive, more relevant and effective, and able to more fully connect with our many communities. A more equitable, inclusive, and diverse museum is a stronger and more innovative one.
Our commitments include:
- Analyze and recognize the role we have historically played in creating barriers to equity at our museum.
- Examine and revise our current policies, practices, and procedures, and remove barriers - physical, intellectual, and financial - to access.
- Expand the diversity of our collections and our interpretation of them.
- Engage and develop relationships with diverse communities, especially communities of color, and involve those communities in decision-making.
- Serve as a resource for other cultural institutions, knowing that we are imperfect and that we will always have work to do.
- Continue to:
- Dedicate and prioritize resources to fund DEI work.
- Maintain an active Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Team that leads, inspires, and measures progress.
- Train our staff on inclusive communication and interrupting institutional racism.
- Ready the institution to recruit and retain staff and board members who are more representative of the diversity of people we serve.
Diversity means all the ways in which people differ, from demographic and cultural identity to life experience and diversity of thought, recognizing that individuals affiliate with multiple identities.
Equity means aligning policies, practices, and resources to create an environment where all people have genuine opportunities to flourish. Equity may require different strategies within different contexts.
Inclusion means creating a welcoming, accessible environment where people feel respected, supported, and valued in order to participate fully in the cultural fabric of our communities.
About Corning, New York
The Corning Museum of Glass is located in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, approximately 165 miles from Albany and 212 miles from New York City. This region is a 9,000 square mile, four-season playground, set against a backdrop of Mother Nature’s best work—from waterfalls and gorges, to thick, cool woods, to rolling hills, to miles of spectacular shoreline on 11 glacial lakes and one Great Lake.
Residents and visitors alike can spend their days on the water or trails enjoying everything from swimming and boating, to wine and cheese, to art and history. The Finger Lakes area is New York's largest wine producing region. More than 100 wineries and vineyards are located around Seneca, Cayuga, Canandaigua, Keuka, Conesus, and Hemlock Lakes. Because of the lakes' great depth, they provide a beneficial effect to the lush vineyards that flank their shores. With the passage of the Farm Winery Act in 1976, numerous wineries are now open to visitors. Wineries are a growth industry of the region, contributing through their production and by attracting visitors.
There is fine, local fare in area restaurants, or one can enjoy a show or game at one of the region’s many cultural and sports venues. Residential home prices are quite affordable and visitor accommodations range from a choice of quaint B&Bs to stately hotels or friendly, lakeside campgrounds.