For years, we drove up and down the highways of Central Pennsylvania seeing billboards for the Corning Museum of Glass and said “We should go there one day.”
After over five years of this, we finally went to there at the end of the August.
Look, if you like glass, this place is for you. There is more glass than you can shake a stick at. There are two places in the museum that I want to highlight:
Studios: In a few different places you get to go into the studio and watch them make the glass. They take the melted glass out of the 2000+ degree ovens and make stuff. Those shows are very cool to watch to see how they can make, shape, and manipulate the molten glass.
Science: There’s an extensive display about the history of glassmaking and innovations in glass making that make for an interesting learning experience.
Beyond that though, most of the museum is about two things: art and artifacts.
The art. Well, it is what it is. There is an extensive display of glass art. Some of it is very impressive, no doubt. But if you aren’t really an art person, it both goes on forever and starts to just look like ordinary objects somebody made of glass. The more art I saw, the less impressed I was by any of it.
The rest of it was artifacts. And I mean a LOT of artifacts. Like this one below.
It’s a massive gravy boat. Made out of glass.
The Museum has an extensive collection of glass artifacts dating back over 3,000 years. And they seem to put every single one of them on display. Walking through the section was, at times, tortuous. “Here’s a bottle from 1000 BC. Here’s a bottle from 999 BC. Here’s one from 998 BC.” I exaggerate to a point, but there are over 50,000 artifacts in total in the museum. At some point, every single one of the artifacts on display starts blending together in your mind so that you can’t tell if a pill bottle was made in 1700 BC or 1700 AD.
Children 17 and under are admitted free, which is probably good because I don’t think my kids at least would have been all that impressed.
Bottom line: if you’re into glass (I mean into glass) the Corning Museum of Glass is for you. For me, it was all a Glass Meh-nagerie that I don’t feel a need to revisit.