I’ve always been intrigued by art and architecture, and my leanings toward those two topics have in turn influenced a deep appreciation for ancient materials and how they’ve been manipulated in various ways over time. Perhaps one of the materials that dates back thousands of years, but still eludes me — in terms of my grasp for its properties and how it is formed — is glass. So I was fascinated to learn about an entire museum devoted to glass: The Corning Museum of Glass, nestled in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country in New York. Founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works, the not-for-profit museum was established as a gift to the nation on the heels of the company’s 100th anniversary. The museum cares for and displays phenomenal art and historical glass pieces — the world’s largest collection — while also educating visitors on the science and technology behind the construction of glass. Some of this education includes actual tactile ways to interact with glass and understand the material in new ways, like live hot glassmaking demonstrations, Make Your Own Glass experiences and hands-on glass technology exhibits. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to witness a glassblowing or glassmaking demonstration in person, you know how truly mesmerizing the process is.
The Corning Museum of Glass‘ newest exhibit is something that fires on all of my creative cylinders — Glass of the Architects: Vienna, 1900-1937, depicting glass pieces from Vienna in 1900-1937 that uphold the ideal of an architect also serving as designer. Curator Alexandra Ruggiero worked to explore a period of time in Austria when architects sought out to infuse all aspects of daily life with impeccable and beautiful design. This movement saw architects, artists and designers rejecting the same, usual mass production of everyday items and espousing a new devotion of modernity into all surfaces and materials, notably glass. CMoG will be the first museum in the U.S. to present this exhibition, which includes 172 works and is in cooperation with the MAK (Austrian Museum of Applied Art/Contemporary Art) and LE STANZE DEL VETRO.
Glass of the Architects: Vienna, 1900-1937 will run from June 23, 2018 to January 7, 2019, but for those of you who can’t visit in person, today I’ve included some photos below of the incredible pieces CMoG will have on display. From an entire dressing room designed around glass by Josef Hoffmann to a striking blue 9-piece set of blown vessels (also by Hoffman), the inspiration sparked from these designers’ takes on modernity some 100 years ago is still felt today. —Kelli
Image above: Tableware Set of Nine Blown Vessels, 1916. Designed by Josef Hoffmann (Austrian, 1870–1956); manufactured by Wiener Werkstätte and probably Meyr’s Neffe. Mold-blown and hot-worked glass. Similar to architect Hoffmann’s repeating stacked forms in his Stoclet Palace design, he applied the same approach to these blue vessels.