Glass in the Islamic World/Glass of the Sultans
Corning Museum of Glass
By Mary Kay Radnich
Last week while traveling through upstate New York, the family and I made an impromptu side trip to Corning, NY, in response for a radio ad we heard for "Glass of the Sultans: Glass in the Islamic World," an exhibition of rare and exquisite Islamic glass, on display now through September 3rd. This was my first-ever trip to Corning and the Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) and I was not disappointed.
I envisioned a traditional type of museum boy, was I wrong! The CMOG is a contemporary edifice built to exalt the many facets of glass and glass-making history in Corning NY. The entire village of Corning, which is very quaint, is a testament to the superb quality and artistic ability of the artisans located there. Glass of all sorts, of all ages, of all forms, can be found in this marvelous little valley at the edge of the Finger Lakes Region.
Glass of the Sultans, presented jointly with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, is located in the Art and History Galleries of the Museum. All areas of the Middle East are represented, from Iran & Iraq to Syria & Egypt, and the individual pieces are marvelous in their delicate features and coloring. Early glassmaking conjured up visions of thick-walled cumbersome pieces in my mind, and this is not the case at all! That these delicate, ornate and beautifully colored pieces have survived over ten centuries is a miracle in itself.
"Glassmaking was a flourishing industry in Egypt and the Middle East when there areas where conquered by the Arabs. Later, Islamic glassmakers developed new forms and types of ornament. They also revived or rediscovered ancient techniques. In addition, they discovered at least one new technique: staining."
If you find yourself in upstate New York before September 3, 2001, try and find the time to visit Corning NY and the Corning Museum of Glass. You wont be disappointed with any aspect of the museum, but you will especially enjoy seeing "The Glass of the Sultans."
If you miss it in Corning, the exhibit will be at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New3 York City from October 2001 through January 2002.
One Museum Way
Corning, NY 14830
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