The Glass Collection Galleries explore Near Eastern, Asian, European, and American glass and glassmaking from antiquity through present day.
They tell the story of glass creation, from a full-scale model of an Egyptian furnace to the grand factories of Europe, and, then America, and finally, to the small-scale furnaces that fueled the Studio Glass movement that began in America in the 1960s.
The galleries contain objects representing every country and historical period in which glassmaking has been practiced.
Conceived of as an accredited educational institution and founded in 1950 by the Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated), the Museum has never been a showcase for the company or its products, but rather exists as a non-profit institution that preserves and expands the world's understanding of glass.
When the Museum officially opened to the public in 1951, it contained a significant collection of glass and glass-related books and documents: there were 2,000 objects, two staff members, and a research library, housed in a low, glass-walled building designed by Harrison & Abramowitz.
Under its first director, Thomas Buechner, the Museum continued to assemble a comprehensive collection of glass, and its library acquired rare books related to the history of glassmaking. When Buechner accepted the directorship of the Brooklyn Museum, he was succeeded by Paul Perrot, who continued the expansion of the collection and the staff.
*photos by Jaguarman and text courtesy of the Corning Museum of Glass.