Sunday, May 8, 2011

Corning Museum of Glass

Now, I should get on with posting about our 3 day guided tour to Niagara-Canada.

Our tour bus was an interesting mix - all Chinese, but of different nationalities - a Taiwanese family of 3, an Australian/native to Guangzhou, China family of 6 and a local mother and daughter who lives in Maryland, and us, a pair of Singaporeans. The tour guide is effectively 'trillingual', and speaks Mandarin, English and Cantonese fluently. During his commentaries, he would switch effortlessly from Mandarin to Cantonese and vice versa in a heartbeat.

Our first destination before we reach Niagara Falls was the Corning Museum of Glass, which is located in New York and is some distance from the city. At first I thought all I'd see in the museum are varieties of glass crockery similar to the ones that my Mum has at home and wasn't too enthusiastic about this place. Well, I thought it was a Corningware museum cum factory. Little did I know that there was far more in the museum than I could ever imagine. Highly educational, the museum had thousands of glass exhibits, some artistic, some scientific, useful in educating visitors about the history of glass, properties of glass, art created out of glass. There was also live demonstrations of glass making conducted at specified times.

A hint of the museum's less than mumsy contents was this huge yellow, spindly glass sculpture near the entrance. This reminds me of the glass sculptures I've seen in Murano, Venice here.

I think I could spend hours in this museum, there was so much to see, if not for the tour guide hurrying us along, as is typical of guided tours. Sigh.

This is made up of thousands of tiny pieces of mosaic



An intricate glass chess set (my favourite exhibit of the lot)

The glass making demonstrations was explained both in English and Mandarin by a Caucasian man (the burly man in blue shirt below), I was mightily impressed by his Mandarin.

The end product - bravo!

If you have more time to spare, and are not following the strict schedule of a guided tour, I'd recommend that you visit this museum on your way to Niagara Falls. For more information, visit the website.

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