Journeying to the Moon in a Suit of Glass

It all began with a small spark. 

In the normal mix of air that we breathe every day, this might have caused some concern but would not have been especially hazardous. But this particular spark occurred within the 100% oxygen atmosphere of the Apollo 1 crew capsule. During a pre-flight testing routine on January 27, 1967, an electrical short set off a fire that consumed the oxygen and the many flammable components inside the cabin, proving fatal to the three astronauts on board – Roger Chaffee, “Gus” Grissom, and Ed White. This small spark brought the Apollo program to a halt and would lead NASA to see glass as an essential part of crew safety. [1]

Apollo 1 Crew (left to right) “Gus” Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee).Courtesy National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons
Apollo 1 Crew (left to right) “Gus” Grissom, Ed White, Roger Chaffee. Courtesy National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved from Wikimedia Commons
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Donor Profile: David Landau

David Landau
David Landau

On the small island of San Giorgio Maggiore just opposite St Mark’s Square sits Le Stanze del Vetro, ‘The Glass Rooms’. A joint initiative between The Cini Foundation and Swiss-based, non-profit foundation Pentagram Stiftung, Le Stanze is an internationally recognized gallery of 20th Century and contemporary glass. Here you might find Le Stanze’s founder, David Landau, walking the beautiful daylit rooms or strategizing the next exhibition. With an unparalleled private collection of approximately 2,500 glass art works by Venini, a prominent Murano glassworks, Landau is a modern glass enthusiast with a passion for sharing his collection with the world.

Originally born in Israel, Landau moved to Italy when he was just five years old and undertook his schooling there which culminated in his becoming a medical doctor. A dramatic change of direction saw him later move to the United Kingdom to study Art History at Oxford University. While in England his interests grew more and more diverse.

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New Glass Now in Review: the best of Instagram

Photos, top to bottom, left to right: @kriswetterlund, @jtsmythe, @pearldick, @theripleylife, @catpuccino_kate, @bethlandin, Chien-Ju Lin via Twitter, @pjakobso, and @jessgiles2

One of the joys of managing social media channels for The Corning Museum of Glass is the opportunity to see how visitors are experiencing our spaces. Each visitor brings a unique perspective to our collections, activities, and demonstrations. The Museum’s latest exhibition, New Glass Now, clearly inspired creativity in staff and visitors alike. As we enter the last few weeks of the exhibition, I wanted to look back at nine of the very best New Glass Now social media posts from this year. 

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A Shot at the Moon

Sometimes the hardest thing about creating an exhibition at The Corning Museum of Glass is selecting which objects make the cut, so to speak. For the exhibition Journey to the Moon: How Glass Got Us There, we thought about including telescopes and some other objects from our collection that related to the Apollo 11 mission. One such object is this uniquely shaped souvenir tumbler.

Ultimately, we decided to focus on the glass in the Apollo spacecraft, glass in the astronauts’ space suits, and the glassy material found on the Moon. This commemorative tumbler simply didn’t fit into any of those categories, so we placed it in the Study Gallery and decided to feature it here, on the Museum’s blog instead.

This footed souvenir glass tumbler, from its unusual form to the images it displays, tells the story of the first manned lunar landing. Let’s take a closer look.

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New Exhibition Announcement: Special Exhibition on Glass in 18th-Century Britain Opening May 2020

The Museum’s spring exhibition, In Sparkling Company: Glass and Social Life in Britain During the 1700s, will open May 9, 2020. With exhibition design by Selldorf ArchitectsIn Sparkling Company will present the glittering costume and jewelry, elaborate tableware, polished mirrors, and dazzling lighting devices that delighted the British elite, and helped define social rituals and cultural values of the period. Through a lens of glass, this exhibition will show visitors what it meant to be ‘modern’ in the 1700s, and what it cost. 

Detail of a Mirror in wood frame, Probably England, London (glass), and Scotland (frame), carving attributed to William Mathie (fl. 1739–about 1761), based on designs by Thomas Chippendale (1718–1779), about 1760. H. 174 cm, W. 105.5 cm, D. 12.5 cm. The Corning Museum of Glass (2018.2.8).

The exhibition will also include a specially created virtual reality reconstruction of the remarkable and innovative spangled-glass drawing room completed in 1775 for Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland (1714-1786), and designed by Robert Adam (1728-1792), one of the leading architects and designers in Britain at the time. An original section of the room (which was dismantled in the 1870s), on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A Museum) in London, will be on view in North America for the first time as part of the exhibition. It will be accompanied by Adam’s original colored design drawings for the interior, on loan from the Sir John Soane’s Museum, London.

Robert Adam (1728–1792), design for the end wall of the drawing room at Northumberland House, 1770–1773. Pen, pencil, and colored washes, including pink, verdigris, and Indian yellow on laid paper. H. 51.6 cm, W. 102.1 cm. Sir John Soane’s Museum, London (SM Adam, volume 39/7). Photo Credit: © Sir John Soane’s Museum, London. Photography by Ardon Bar Hama. 
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The Corning Museum of Glass Partners on Glass Competition Show Blown Away 

The Corning Museum of Glass is thrilled to share news of an exciting collaboration on the forthcoming Netflix series, Blown Away, which will bring the art and beauty of glassblowing to television screens around the world. A visually compelling process often described as “mesmerizing” and “captivating,” glassblowing has never been the subject of any major TV programming—until now.  

The art glass competition show created by Marblemedia, an award-winning entertainment company based in Toronto, Canada, Blown Away features a group of 10 highly skilled glassmakers from North America creating beautiful works of art that are assessed by a panel of expert judges. One artist is eliminated each episode until a winner is announced in the tenth and final episode. A co-production with Blue Ant Media of Toronto, Blown Away will air on the Makeful channel in Canada before coming to the Netflix platform worldwide later this year.

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The Studio announces 2019 Residencies

Today, The Studio announced the 2019 Artists-in-Residence recipients: twelve artists from around the world who will each spend one month at The Studio, researching and experimenting with new techniques to further their work. Additionally, two artists and two scholars have been selected for the David Whitehouse Research Residency for Artists and the David Whitehouse Research Residency for Scholars, respectively. These recipients will spend up to three weeks in the Rakow Library, utilizing the vast holdings to inform their practice or area of research. Each resident will provide a public Lunchtime Lecture during their time at the Museum, describing their inspirations and work at The Studio and the Rakow Library.

2019 Artists-In-Residence at The Studio

Shinobu Kurosawa & Jim Butler
February 24-March 24; Public lecture on March 14

Shinobu Kurosawa, Happy Christmas.
Shinobu Kurosawa, Happy Christmas.

Translated literally, the Japanese word tonbodama means dragonfly ball. Since 2000, flameworker Shinobu Kurosawa has been making tonbodama beads that depict traditional Japanese landscape and nature scenes in glass.

In her March 2019 residency, Kurosawa will use The Studio’s resources to continue her research on tonbodama and expand her flameworking skills as she explores new possibilities in Japanese beadmaking.

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