Release Date: 
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Press Release: 

Corning Museum of Glass and Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum Partner to Present GlassLab
State-of-the-Art Mobile Hot Glass Studio Program Pairs Contemporary Designers and Corning Museum Glassmakers
Design Performances at Cooper-Hewitt May 17 – June 3, 2008

The Corning Museum of Glass brings its innovative program, GlassLab, to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, pairing master glassmakers from The Corning Museum of Glass with some of the most creative minds working in design today. Corning Museum GlassLab invites leading contemporary designers to work in a unique mobile hot glass studio, where they can explore new design concepts and push the boundaries of innovation and creativity.

Participating designers, many of whom have been featured in past Cooper-Hewitt exhibitions and programs, will include Harry Allen, Constantine and Laurene Boym of Boym Partners, Francisco Costa of Calvin Klein, architect Paul Haigh, Chad Phillips of Kidrobot, Sigi Moeslinger and Masamichi Udagawa of Antenna Design, Michele Oka Doner, and Tobias Wong with fashion designer Tom Scott, among others. Designers will have multiple work sessions over the course of the presentation, and will have the chance to explore the process in a fresh forum, evolving their concepts with each session.

“Corning Museum GlassLab allows visitors to experience the excitement and extraordinary craftsmanship of hot glassmaking, the potential of glass as a material for contemporary design, and the creative exchange and journey of the design process itself,” said Paul Warwick Thompson, director, Cooper- Hewitt, National Design Museum. “We are delighted to partner with the Corning Museum of Glass to present this special program and to welcome these exceptional artists and designers to the Museum.”

Created by The Corning Museum of Glass in partnership with the Vitra Design Museum, Corning Museum GlassLab will offer the unique opportunity for museum visitors to experience the dynamic nature of hot glassmaking and watch the design process unfold before their eyes. Corning Museum GlassLab debuted at Design Miami last year, where participating designers included the Campana Brothers, Matali Crasset, Constantin and Laurene Boym, Paul Haigh, and Sigga Heimis.

“This initiative brings the experience of live glassmaking beyond the walls of the Museum, providing an experimental resource for emerging and established designers and furthers our mission to showcase not only the art and history of glass, but the artistry and traditions of glassmaking itself,” said David Whitehouse, executive director, Corning Museum of Glass. 

Museum Programs
Live demonstrations of hot glassmaking are central to the experience at The Corning Museum of Glass, where visitors can also participate in hands-on workshops to make their own objects. These programs expand upon the history and the artistry of glass showcased in the Museum’s exhibitions and permanent collections. They allow visitors to learn about the full scope of the material, from its creation to its myriad uses.

A mobile Hot Glass Show was developed to bring the live glassmaking experience to the public, the design community, and museums worldwide. The innovative mobile hotshop technology recreates a state-of-the-art studio environment on the road, allowing the Museum’s expert staff to demonstrate and execute complex hot glassmaking techniques at a variety of venues.

Working in various formats, in artistic collaborations such as Corning Museum GlassLab as well as glassmaking demonstrations, the Hot Glass Show has presented a wide range of programs at such venues as the Getty Villa, SOFA Chicago, Art Basel Miami/Design Miami, the Museum of Science and Industry, Domaine de Boisbuchet, and Art Basel. Partnerships with the Vitra Design Museum in 2006 and 2007 at the international summer design workshop at Domaine de Boisbuchet served as the genesis for Corning Museum GlassLab.

Cooper-Hewitt presents design along a historic continuum, examining its impact across 24 centuries of human creation. Exhibition and educational programs explore the historic and contemporary role of design, using 21st-century perspectives to pinpoint themes of enduring interest to design across all centuries and offering new ways for visitors to engage with the museum’s collection.

Corning Museum GlassLab complements Cooper-Hewitt’s dynamic programs, which showcase the variety and energy of work by living designers. From the National Design Awards and the National Design Triennial, a survey of the best in American design across multiple disciplines, to the “Selects” series, in which guest curators are invited to mine the museum’s collection, these programs bring the voices of contemporary designers to the forefront.

Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
Cooper-Hewitt is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational programs, exhibitions and publications. Founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor and Sarah Hewitt—granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper—as part of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, the museum has been a branch of the Smithsonian since 1967.

Holdings encompass one of the most diverse and comprehensive collections of design works in existence, tracing the history of design through more than 200,000 objects spanning 24 centuries, from the Han Dynasty (200 B.C.) to the present. The museum’s collections are organized by four curatorial departments: product design and decorative arts; drawings, prints and graphic design; textiles; and wallcoverings.

Cooper-Hewitt is located at 2 East 91st Street at Fifth Avenue in New York City. Hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fridays, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sundays, noon to 6 p.m. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Public transit routes include the Lexington Avenue 4, 5 and 6 subways (86th or 96th Street stations) and the Fifth and Madison Avenue buses. General admission, $15; senior citizens and students ages 12 and older, $10. Cooper-Hewitt members and children younger than 12 are admitted free. The museum is fully accessible.

The Corning Museum of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of art and history in glass, spanning more than 3,500 years of human creation. A leader in education, research and scholarship for glass, public programs bring the material to life through live glassblowing demonstrations and Make Your Own workshops, and residency programs train the next generation of glass artists.

The Museum’s collection ranges from Ancient Egyptian and Renaissance Venetian masterpieces to contemporary works by such masters as Dale Chihuly and Josiah McElheny. Scientific and technological collections feature interactive installations, original film footage, and objects such as the first telescope and intricately faceted lighthouse lamps and tell the story of historic advancements and contemporary innovations in glass technology.

Collections and exhibitions showcase the history of glass and public programs provide opportunities for active engagement with the material, bringing glass to life through live glassblowing demonstrations as well as hands-on hot glass workshops where visitors can create their own work. Housed in a unique collection of award-winning modern glass architecture, the Museum is the centerpiece of the city of Corning, NY, America’s leading center for glass innovation.

Nestled in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State, the Museum is open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm in the summer. Children 17 and under receive free admission. The Corning Museum of Glass is conveniently located directly off Exit 46 on I-86/Rte. 17. Corning, NY, is 4 hours north of New York City, 2 hours south of Buffalo and 6 hours north of Washington, D.C.

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