Stonewall reflections (Part 2): Glasss, Honey! The Corning Museum of Glass Pride Tour

This June, The Corning Museum of Glass and I Love NY! celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Stonewall Uprising. This is part two of a two-part blog post that details the impact Stonewall has had on our world, including the world of glass. In Part 1, we revisited the historic events surrounding Stonewall, the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ movement for equality. In Part 2, we look at some highlights from Glasss, Honey! The Corning Museum of Glass Pride Tour (June 16 at 1:30 and 2:30 pm; June 29 through July 3 at 1 pm). Glass emerged as a popular art material in the Stonewall era, and is a medium for LGBTQ+ artists to express their voice and identity.

For much of its 3,500-year history, glass was not used as a material for purely artistic pursuits. It wasn’t until a series of 1960s workshops led by Harvey Littleton, a native of Corning, New York, with the help of Dominick Labino that glass emerged as a more readily available and popular material for expressing ideas. This period of increased attention on glass as an art material became known as the Studio Glass Movement.

The use of glass as a more common art material coincided with major shifts in the cultural landscape of the late 1960s and early 1970s: Hippie culture rebelled against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War; people of color staked their claim on long-denied civil rights; the Feminist Movement empowered women to take control of their own bodies and decisions; and as mentioned in Part 1, LGBTQ+ people emerged from the historic events at Stonewall to claim a life free from harassment and discrimination.

In the midst of these historic movements, glass became a material that presented artists with seemingly limitless creative opportunities.

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Stonewall reflections (Part 1)

This June, The Corning Museum of Glass and I Love NY! celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Stonewall Uprising. This is part one of a two-part blog post that details the impact Stonewall has had on our world, including the world of glass. In Part 1 we revisit the historic events surrounding Stonewall, the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ movement for equality. In Part 2, we will look at the ways glass, reborn as an art material in the same era, connects to Stonewall’s legacy.

The Stonewall, a dark, cramped dive of a bar in NYC’s Village neighborhood was an unlikely refuge for underaged teens, but for many it was the only home they had after families found out they were gay.*

The Stonewall Inn at 51-53 Christopher Street, New York City, New York. It is designated a National Historic Landmark.

Jobless and without skills—without decent clothes to wear to a job interview—they lived in the streets, panhandling or shoplifting for the price of admission to The Stonewall. That was the one advantage to the place—for $3.00 admission, one could stay inside, out of the winter’s cold or the summer heat, all night long.

The Atlantic
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Meet Dr. Shelly Xue

The Museum’s curatorial staff are responsible for the care, display and research of more than 50,000 objects. The Asian glass collection—small but extremely important—was one area in need of more research and evaluation. That’s where Dr. Shelly Xue comes in.

Dr. Xue arrived at the Museum in November 2018 as the Carpenter Foundation Fellow for Asian Glass. She came from Shanghai where she is on sabbatical from her position as Associate Professor for Glass and Director of the Studio at Shanghai Institute of Visual Art. Dr. Xue earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wolverhampton in the U.K., where she researched the development of glass as an expressive medium in China through direct contact with Western methods of glassmaking and decorating. She has published four books and has lectured around the world. Dr. Xue is also a glass artist and has work in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. (You may have seen the video of one of her works being broken in her solo exhibition in 2013.)

Six months into her year-long fellowship, I was able to chat with her about her work at The Corning Museum of Glass.

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A short history of Bill Gudenrath

Whether you are local to Corning, New York, or a glass enthusiast anywhere around the globe, chances are you have heard the name William Gudenrath. You might avidly follow his work and have attended his classes and lectures, or you might have stumbled upon the viral video of Bill making a dragon stem goblet, which is at 1.4 million YouTube views and counting; various shortened and sped up versions have accumulated over 50 million viewings!

Bill is a founding leader at The Studio, working alongside his wife, Amy Schwartz, and he holds the title of Resident Advisor. Read more about Bill’s work at The Studio in this Instructor Highlight.

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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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The Corning Museum of Glass Surveys Global Contemporary Glass in Special Exhibition Opening in May 2019

Today The Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) announced that 100 artists—representing 32 nationalities and working in 25 countries—have been selected to exhibit in New Glass Now, a global survey of contemporary glass and the first exhibition of its kind organized by the Museum in 40 years. The show, which will be on view from May 12, 2019, through January 5, 2020, will include works ranging from large-scale installations and delicate miniatures to video and experiments in glass chemistry, all of which demonstrate the vitality and versatility of this dynamic material.

Problematica (Foam Rock), Sarah Briland

Sarah Briland
United States, b. 1980
Problematica (Foam Rock)
United States, Richmond, Virginia, 2016
Foam, Aqua Resin, glass microspheres, steel, concrete stand
With stand: 96.5 x 52 x 45.7 cm
Photo: Terry Brown

In spring 2018, CMoG welcomed submissions of new works, made between 2015 and 2018 in which glass plays a fundamental role, for consideration by a panel comprising Susie J. Silbert, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at CMoG, and three guest curators, including: Aric Chen, curator-at-large, M+ museum, Hong Kong; Susanne Jøker Johnsen, artist and head of exhibitions at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation, Denmark; and American artist Beth Lipman. More than 1,400 artists, designers and architects working in 52 countries—from Argentina, Australia, Indonesia and Japan to the United States, United Kingdom, and beyond—submitted works, which draw upon flameworking, glassblowing, casting, neon, carving, and kilnworking techniques, among others. Read more →