A Necessary Stop at the Corning Museum of Glass on a College Road Trip

On our drive last week from the campuses of Penn State to Syracuse, we stopped about an hour south of Ithaca in the small town of Corning, New York. Here you’ll find one of my favorite museums in western New York, the Corning Museum of Glass. Founded in 1851, Corning Glass Works was instrumental in helping Thomas Edison create the light bulb on a mass scale, designed the first television screens, invente the first assembly-line bottling plant, and now the company is thriving with the proliferation of fiber optics. You can learn about the inventors and innovation of glass at the museum. Corning also features an exceptional collection of glass art from Egyptian times to the present that will only get bigger with the new $64 million Contemporary Art and Design Wing set to make its debut on March 20th. The 26,000-square-foot art gallery will be the largest space anywhere dedicated to the presentation of contemporary art in glass. It will also house one of the world’s largest facilities for glassblowing demonstrations and live glass design sessions, with 500 seats. Another highlight of the museum is the chance to create your own art, via glassblowing or sandblasting. My wife made a wind chime while my daughter created a glass pendant.