Corning Museum of Glass : Ben W. Heineman Sr. Family Gallery of Contemporary Glass

Corning Museum of Glass

Ben W. Heineman Sr. Family Gallery of Contemporary Glass : 2011

The Museum's gallery of contemporary glass focuses on vessels, objects, sculptures, and installations made by international artists over the last 25 years. The purpose of the gallery is to show the different ways in which glass is used as a medium for contemporary art. The gallery is named for the Heineman family, who donated a major collection of contemporary glass to the Museum in 2005. Large-scale work is complemented by smaller-scale objects and nonfunctional vessels in a variety of glassworking techniques, including blowing, casting, kiln forming, flameworking, laminating, stained glass, beading, and assemblage. The gallery features unique objects, rather than limited-edition or mass-produced products.

Glass art works are displayed throughout in custom designed 'vitrine' cabinetry scaled individually to encourage viewing and a sense of intimacy. Architectural wall display elements, designed to present the interactive and graphic media, form discrete spatial divisions linking typologies and technical process. A series of large scaled 'furniture' elements provide continuous surfaces for display, seated viewing areas and featured artist presentations.

Curated by Tina Oldknow, the exhibits examine the shifting boundaries between contemporary craft, design, and art. While art and craft are rooted in the same source, i.e. the process of making, there are key differences. In the most general sense, craft emphasizes exemplary technique, function, and the individuality of the object, while design focuses on function, form, and reproducibility. Art is traditionally nonfunctional and expresses content or commentary that is meant to stimulate thought, present ideas, evoke memories, or inspire emotion.