This blog post comes from Adelheid Hansen, an intern in the Conservation department.
It was a dream come true to be an intern in the Conservation Lab of The Corning Museum of Glass for eight weeks in early 2018. Shortly before coming to Corning, I graduated from West Dean College (UK) with an MA in Conservation Studies, specializing in glass and ceramics.
During my stay in Corning, I would go once a week with Stephen Koob, chief conservator, to the storage facility of the museum to wash glass. This blog post explains why and how washing of glass takes place. At the time I was there, there was a large collection of early 20th century American lampshades that needed washing (figures 1 and 2).
Fig. 1: Washing the lampshades.
Fig. 2: Lampshades after washing.
In addition to washing, I inspected each lampshade for damage. For instance: cracks, missing areas, detached shards or previous restorations. We took lampshades with damage to the Conservation Lab where they landed on my desk. This blog post describes the treatment of three of them. Read more →
Nestled within the Museum’s exhibition, Glass of the Architects: Vienna, 1900–1937, is Dressing Room for a Star, a silvered, mirrored and extravagantly furnished room by Austrian architect and designer Josef Hoffmann (1870–1956), on loan from the MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, Vienna. Originally designed by Hoffmann for the 1937 Paris International Exposition, Dressing Room for a Star was reconstructed by the MAK Conservation Workshop in 2013. Though considered a single work, it is comprised of more than 200 pieces, including silvered wood panels, trim and decorative elements, a mirrored dressing table and floor, furniture, lighting, and glassware. It is one of 172 works on display in the exhibition.
Reconstruction of Dressing Room for a Star, displayed at
the 1937 Paris International Exposition. Designed by
Josef Hoffmann (Austrian, 1870–1956). MAK – Austrian
Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art
(MAK H 3815-1, H 3815-2, 2058, H 2061;
chandelier on loan from J. & L. LOBMEYR Family
Collection, Vienna). © MAK/Georg Mayer.
Glass of the Architects highlights objects from the Museum’s collection, but most objects were loaned by MAK, a private collector, and the J. & L. LOBMEYR Family Collection in Vienna. Before loaned objects can be installed in a gallery, they are shipped and received from lending institutions, then carefully unpacked, condition-assessed and organized. It’s a dynamic and fluid process requiring a team of registrars, conservators, and preparators working in tandem. Registrars arrange the shipments of loaned objects and ensure all are accounted for and tracked upon receipt. Conservators assess and thoroughly document objects’ condition as they are unpacked. Preparators implement solutions to safely install objects and bring the curator’s vision to life. Read more →
The Expanding Horizons programs is a week-long program at The Corning Museum of Glass for the top students in at-risk glass art programs around the United States. In partnership with the Robert M. Minkoff Foundation, the outreach program includes airfare, lodging, and meals for the duration. The itinerary blends hands-on glassblowing instruction, touring the collections with curators, a visit to the Rakow Research Library, a meeting with a prominent collector, a discussion about preparing an artist’s portfolio, and a presentation on applying to college with a focus on glassblowing.
What happens when you put a bunch of teens together in a hot shop? Well, glass. And a lot of fun and camaraderie! The Studio recently hosted six young glass artists and their mentors for a week of glassmaking and learning. The students, five from Chicago and one from Tacoma, Wash., have all been studying glassmaking at programs in their hometowns and jumped at the chance to visit Corning to learn from the best. Here are some snapshots of their experience. Read more →
This post comes from Ilaria Camerini and Erin Fitterer, Rakow Library interns during the summer of 2018 working on the conservation of Library collections, including the Whitefriars stained glass cartoon collection. Read more about this project and the collection in previous posts.
This summer, we’ve had the opportunity to work on objects beyond the Whitefriars collection. These objects represent a range of materials and techniques and have presented new and fascinating challenges for us.
Dandelion plant 95, Alice C. Gouvy for
Tiffany Studios, 1902, CMGL 89006.
Like the Whitefriars cartoons, these projects are also part of the planning process for creating pieces of glass. Artists often create drawings and watercolor sketches to plan out what they want to do in advance. Workshops hire artists and designers to create potential designs. These dandelions, for example, were painted by Alice C. Gouvy while she was employed by Tiffany Studios. Many of Gouvy’s sketches were later used to inspire windows, lamps, jewelry boxes, and other items produced by Tiffany Studios. Often these types of drawings and sketches were made without any particular object in mind.
Similar to Gouvy’s dandelions, this watercolor sketch by Frederick Carder features a pastoral scene with bathers. This image could have been translated onto a number of objects, including a stained-glass window, an enameled box, or etched onto the surface of a vase. We had the chance to work on Carder’s sketch this summer. There is a crack running from the left to right side. There are also additional cracks along the bottom edge. Fortunately, these cracks do not go all the way through the object. We were able to insert glue along the crack and carefully burnish the edges together. Read more →