50 Reasons to Visit
50 Reasons to Visit
What is the number one thing our guests tell us after they’ve seen The Corning Museum of Glass? They wish they’d planned to spend more time here! Our guests tell us again and again they “had no idea” what was in store. With a wing for 35 centuries of glass art and history, a floor dedicated to glass science and innovation, an all-new Contemporary Art + Design Wing, and the largest hot glass demonstrations space in the world, what’s on view can be browsed in a day or absorbed over a week.
Add a Make Your Own Glass experience, hands-on activities in our Innovation Galleries, one of the country’s largest museum shops, and on-site eateries with fresh, made-to-order items and grab-and-go snacks, and The Corning Museum of Glass has good reason to offer two days of admission for the price of one.
Still not convinced we are a destination rather than a quick visit? Here are 50 Reasons To Visit Today. Use this as a guide to our must-see attractions, and check back often for seasonal changes.
1. Kids & Teens 17-and-under visit for free
Not only are kids welcome, they are welcome to experience the Museum at no cost!
2. Stunning architecture
From concrete beams and skylights to a glass, egg-shaped whisper theater, the Museum uses architecture to hold and highlight a series of very different—but connected—collections. Hot and cold glass demonstrations round out the experience, taking visitors from a giant, state-of-the art hot shop with amphitheater seating, to intimate booths and stages for up-close-and-personal discoveries.
3. 35 centuries of glass
The Museum is home to the world’s most in-depth collection of glass, showcasing 3,500 years of artistry and innovation.
4. Small town; international artists
Our Guest Artist Series gives visitors a glimpse of the world’s most accomplished glass artists at work with special, extended demonstrations—all included in the price of admission! Check the web to see if any famous artists will be in town during your visit.
5. 200-inch glass disk
In 1934, a 200”-diameter disk of borosilicate glass was poured in Corning, setting in motion a series of events that would ultimately lead to a deeper discovery of space than ever before. This first casting of the Mt. Palomar Hale Telescope mirror has been prominently featured in the Museum since its founding.
6. Corning, N.Y., has changed your life
You wouldn’t be reading this webpage right now if it weren’t for glass technology created here in Corning—specifically, fiber optics. Every time you tap your smartphone screen, you’re touching glass invented here in Corning. How often do you use your Pyrex measuring cup or casserole dish? Corning again! Our collection covers 35 centuries of stories in glass, but you can also learn how Corning has changed the world through glass innovation.
7. New art
The Museum collection is always changing! From incredibly detailed cameo glass scent bottles to a chandelier powered by butterfly-shaped solar panels, new acquisitions—and exhibitions—mean there’s always something to see on return visits.
8. Not your average paperweight
What could round out the world’s largest paperweight collection? One of the world’s largest paperweights, of course! This 107-pound whopper could hold down one massive stack of paper! Created in 2006, Josh Simpson’s Megaplanet became the 1,000th paperweight in the Museum’s collection.
9. World's largest space for watching a glassblowing demo
That’s right! The 2015 addition of the Amphitheater Hot Shop added 500 seats and 360° views for catching a glimpse into the fascinating process of glassblowing. Add in 80-inch digital monitors, a professional video crew, and some of the most talented glassworkers in the business, and you’ll get a much closer look than you ever imagined at this centuries-old craft.
10. Make glass yourself
One thing is pretty much guaranteed: after watching our talented Hot Glass Demo Team work with hot glass, you’re going to want to try it yourself. So go ahead! Try at 40-minute glassmaking experience at The Studio. There are projects for every age, no skill required! (Spots sell-out quickly: we recommend registering in advance of your visit).
11. 11 acres to explore
There’s more to CMoG than what could possibly fit in one building! Just a short stroll from our main collections and demonstration spaces, you’ll find a state-of-the-art glassmaking school and additional galleries, as well as the foremost research library on glass, complete with its own exhibitions. And everything’s completely accessible to the public!
12. Hot spot selfie
Join the club and take a selfie with the famous CMoG Hot Spot sculpture in our courtyard. No two pictures ever seem to be alike, as creative guests find new poses in, on, and around the Hot Spot.
13. Big-city museum; small-town charm
When you step into the lobby and see the Dale Chihuly’s 15-foot Fern Green Tower, you’ll realize The Corning Museum of Glass is a world-class facility. But you can skip the cab rides and long lines associated with big-city museums: CMoG is nestled in charming Corning, N.Y.—a historic and easily accessible gem of the Finger Lakes Region.
14. Find the faces
As you walk through the Museum, see how many faces in glass you can find looking back at you.
15. Real glass slippers
Designed by famed Steuben founder Frederick Carder in 1925, these glass slippers look like they jumped right off the pages of a fairy tale story book. Look carefully in our galleries to find even more shoes.
16. And a glass dress
Actually, we have two dresses on display. See life-size castings of intricate drapery by artist Karen LaMonte. Then look closer: beneath the surface of these glass garments are the shapes of the models wearing them.
17. Turn up the heat
Watch flameworkers melt and twist borosilicate glass rods into intricate objects over a torch that hovers around 4,000°F. See everything from small-scale sculptural pieces to glass animals, and even glass eyeballs created before your, well, eyeballs! It’s hot, Hot, HOT!
18. Hear glass
Different glass makes different sounds. From the sound of breaking glass (only in the demonstration please!), to a glass Armonica invented by Benjamin Franklin, how many different glass sounds you hear during your visit might surprise you.
19. Break glass
We’re pretty sure breaking glass at a glass museum is generally frowned upon. Not here! Our mission is to tell the story of glass, which includes why and how different glasses break in different ways. Check out our GlassBreaking Demo, and help pulverize different kinds of glass (with supervision and safety gear of course).
20. Win glass
Wondering what this Museum does with all the glass it produces in demonstrations? We give it away! That’s right, beautiful, handmade pieces of glass are sometimes given away at the end of demonstrations. If you’re the lucky visitor, you can take home a one-of-a-kind souvenir.
21. Glass from ancient Egyptian royals
Try to decipher the mysteries behind a royal family’s portraits and belongings in glass – including how those colors and shapes were realized at the dawn of glassmaking in the 15th century BC.
22. A mile of glass beads
What do you get when 50 women hand bead for two years? For artist Liza Lou and a team of Zulu women in Durban, South Africa, it is a mile-long cotton rope covered in 4.5 million glossy black glass beads. Continuous Mile is a show-stopping testament to dedication, patience, and skill found in the hands of a community.
23. Glass fruit bigger than a toddler
Our giant bowl of stunningly-realistic glass fruit dwarves our smallest visitors – and they love it, citing Still Life with Two Plums as their favorite piece in our collection.
24. Award-winning technology will be your guide
The Corning Museum of Glass built its own web app—an award-winning digital companion for the Contemporary Art + Design Wing—no downloads required. Simply open your phone’s internet—or use one of our provided iPads—and follow the prompts to learn more about the pieces and artists in the galleries.
25. Go ahead, get close
Discover all the ways glass changes the world around us. Best of all, when you’re in the Innovation Center, the exhibits are interactive. If you want to see how a glass mirror changes your proportions, get up close to it and watch the changes with your own eyes.
26. See all of Corning without leaving the Museum
What is almost as iconic as the 200” glass disc it sits beside? Our periscope! Climb up, peer into the viewfinder, and turn around to see a 360-degree view of Corning. Fun fact: The Museum’s periscope was provided by the U.S. Navy.
27. That's a LOT of casseroles
We all have a milk-white casserole dish or two that we use for favorite family recipes. Did you know this heat-resistant glass, a glass ceramic, was the result of a complete accident? At CMoG, you can learn the story and see a tower of these casserole dishes. Try to guess how many are stacked high to the ceiling.
28. Bettering the environment every day
The Contemporary Art + Design Wing is a testament to 21st-century architecture and sustainability, and earned LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Green features include the more than 900 skylights, SORAA LED lighting, and both water and energy conserving design modifications.
29. Glass in nature
Discover how glass forms without any help from humans. It looks a little different than you might think. From obsidian to a sea creature’s skeleton, see glass take some strange and exotic forms.
30. Take the next step
Sign up for a class at The Studio. Learn about techniques from blowing and flameworking to casting and coldworking. Classes are available for every skill level from beginners to advanced students. So go for it, get your glass on!
31. Steeped in glassmaking tradition.
The Amphitheater Hot Shop has deep glassmaking roots. The Steuben Glass factory once occupied its exact footprint, meaning world-class glass art has been created in that space for more than 60 years.
32. Stay a while
A little-known perk of this Museum is that admission passes are good for two consecutive days. Good news for those of you who like to take your time when exploring. Just come back the next day and pick up where you left off.
33. Upcycled life-size trees
See three life-size trees composed entirely of 2,000+ re-purposed drinking glasses. The environmentally-conscious glassmaker, Katherine Gray, culled glasses from many different sources—including a few local shops in Corning—to create her “green” stand of trees. Talk about sustainable art.
34. Glass musical instruments
Have you ever heard music produced by glass? Chances are you haven’t. Where else can you see a 19th-century glass flute alongside a chiming clock with glass bells and a host of other curious musical contraptions made of glass?
35. See all of Corning's downtown
When you’ve finished your visit or want to break for a trip to Corning’s historic Gaffer District (including The Rockwell Museum), board our free shuttle bus. It travels a continuous 15-minute loop and makes several stops along the way. Board it at any stop to return to the Museum or Visitor Center parking lot.
36. Trivia in the Hot Shops.
Waiting for your hot glass demo to begin? Test what you’ve learned in the galleries by playing along with glass-related trivia on the big screens in our Hot Glass Demonstration spaces.
37. If you can dream it, you can achieve it
Inspired by a dream he had about a glass tire, American artist, Robert Rauschenberg was determined to create it—only he was not a glassmaker. He sought out makers who could help him. Look closely at every detail of the tread—you’d think this tire had just rolled off a factory floor.
38. A million-dollar view
Picture the most idyllic view you could want from your home. This one of the Hudson River was so spectacular, Louis C. Tiffany was commissioned to capture it in a stained glass window. Transport yourself to spring on the Hudson—complete with flowering hollyhocks, trumpet creepers, and clematis flowers—when you take a photo in front of this Museum favorite.
39. Broken glass + taxidermied crows = crazy cool art
You might think a glass museum would be averse to showing off broken objects—but this one was broken on purpose. This shattered, blood-red chandelier was literally dropped from a ceiling, and is being picked over by taxidermied crows carrying small bits of glass away in their beaks. Drama at its finest.
40. Shop 'til you drop
The Corning Museum of Glass has one of the largest museum shops in the country. Seriously, it rivals a small department store. From high-end art glass to exhibit-related items to jewelry to kitchen necessities, it’s all here.
41. Hearts, lambs, flowers, and more
Seasonal Make Your Own Glass projects are the perfect way to remind yourself that spring is coming. Check our online schedule to see what’s available right now, and what’s coming up.
42. Behind the Glass
The Museum brings in world-class speakers, artists, and presenters for a fascinating lecture series, offering you a peek Behind the Glass. Listen to an artist talk about their process, hear scientists discuss their latest findings in glass research, and learn how glass inspires architecture and design. Be sure to check the schedule before your visit.
43. Make it personal
CMoG is a big place, and it’s easy to miss some of the most interesting pieces. Meet a docent in the Admissions Lobby for a small-group tour of the collections. Hear about the pieces that inspire them, and learn fascinating stories about some of the work on display.
44. Two is better than one
Corning is also home to The Rockwell Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, which houses an incredible collection of art about the American experience. Pottery, paintings, and textiles are just a few of the things on view. If you want to visit both museums, purchase a combo ticket.
45. CMoG cares about your data plan
We offer free Wi-Fi so you can be #connected without worry. Running low on battery power? Stop at one of our campus-wide charging stations for a little extra juice.
46. 2300° = One hot party
Think museums don’t know how to party? Think again. Combining live music, special glassmaking demos, food and drinks, CMoG throws one hot party—called 2300°—that’s not to be missed. These third Thursday events are held after hours and are free and open to the public. Join us if you’re in town.
47. Get your make on
Where else can you participate in a MakerSpace during spring break? Not many places. At the Museum you can explore and learn about curious glass concepts in conjunction with the special exhibition Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds from the Rakow Library. Make DIY Cartesian divers, make a book of your own, even use circuits and motors to make your own discoveries.
48. If the RV fits ...
And we know it will. That’s because this Museum provides free RV parking. So add us to your vacation plans, or just make a comfortable stop on your way through the region.
49. We can fill your glass, too
The Corning Museum of Glass is located in renowned Finger Lakes Wine Country, filled with world-class wineries, craft breweries, cideries, and distilleries. Discover why readers of Budget Travel magazine named it the most beautiful wine region in the world. You’ll want to sip and savor the flavors of Wine Country during your extended visit.
50. Mark your calendar for Mosaics
Opening May 20, Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics is the first-ever special exhibition dedicated to this extraordinary aspect of Louis C. Tiffany’s artistry in glass. Experience the grandeur of Tiffany’s showrooms, and take a peek behind the scenes in Tiffany’s workrooms. Be transported to architectural sites around the Northeast—many within driving distance of Corning—and discover stories behind the radiant mosaic figures created by Tiffany’s artisans.