Fragility and strength: the beauty of glass art

April 18, 2024


Welcome to the Corning Museum of glass, about an hour and three-quarters from my hometown of Rochester, NY.

It’s huge—so huge! Fascinating–historically and technologically.  And just beautiful. Appealing to all sorts of aesthetics.

I took photos of random pieces of glass during my visit last month. It’s impossible to show you representative samples of everything–the scale of the entire museum is just overwhelming. But here’s a little taste of the big section called 35 Centuries of Glass, where I spent most of my visit. That’s right! People have made things out of glass for 3500 years.

It’s incredible that those who came along so far before us–peoples we think of now as far more “primitive”— figured out how to make vessels of glass that were this beautifully formed.

Notice the differences in style as we go along.

Venetian glass is by far the most delicately beautiful, at least to me. Look at the use of color–and how long ago this gorgeous goblet was made.

This piece is so finely wrought. And beautifully designed. Even today it is a beautiful presentation bowl.

These Chinese snuff bottles are fascinating. Easy to get lost in the many colors.

Aren’t these cameos lovely? The first time I’ve seen cameo bottles.

Of course this is Venetian So distinctively gorgeous. Exquisite. I wish there had been more contrast in the background so you could see it more clearly. But a “don’t miss” if you visit the museum. Which I hope you will.


This glass table and boat atop it are incredible. Huge. Miraculous that they could even be moved.

Steuben. A recognized name in glass.  We begin to see how design changed in the 20th century.

glass-artI love this French parrot vase.


Italy, again. The colors drew me in immediately.

This Italian coffee table was spectacular.

Oh and how about this one:


Dining table

We’re now members of the museum, so we’ll be going more often. I didn’t finish going through the 20th century section, and then there are still so many more areas to explore. Never-ending beauty. So I’ll be taking more pix and sharing on other visits.

Oh, and then there were these:
Legend holds that 75 brave Apache warriors fought the U.S. Cavalry on an Arizona mountaintop in the 1870s. The Apache were vastly outnumbered and facing defeat. So rather than be killed or captured, they rode their horses off the mountain to their death. The obsidian are said to be formed by the Apache women’s tears of grief.

The reason I loved seeing these is that an Apache tear is included with each of my gentle grief gifts. They are said to be helpful for grief. See the stone below? And if you’d like to order a gift that includes the stone, do so HERE.



9 comments on “Fragility and strength: the beauty of glass art
  1. Laurie Stone says:

    The artistry from these ancient times is a wonder. They were very sophisticated.

  2. I had no idea that glass making went back 35 centuries. Love the pictures you chose and the mention of Apache tears. My sister visits in-laws in R
    ochester and I will make sure she checks out this museum.

  3. Nancy says:

    Glass is magical. I really, really want to go to the Corning Museum…. but I live across the country.

  4. Diane says:

    Stunning! Beauty and function perfectly balanced…
    Lovely post, Carol!

  5. Beth Havey says:

    Carol, your photos and presentation are awesome. We were delighted on a cruise to watch a glassmaker at his craft. The precision and time, not to mention the creativity is amazing. And of course all of these arts have a long history….finding the right materials not to mention the imagination to create something beautiful and different.

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