In honor of the 150th anniversary of its move from Brooklyn, New York, to the Finger Lakes region of New York State, The Corning Museum of Glass will launch a mobile, all-electric glassblowing canal boat that will showcase the hot glass process to audiences along the Hudson River and Erie Canal. The event is designed to commemorate the 1868 relocation of the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company to Corning, New York. The company shipped its industrial glassblowing equipment piece-by-piece via canal barge to its new home in Corning, New York, where it grew into the international corporation Corning, Inc., which is the main funder of The Corning Museum of Glass. A four-month celebration of this 19th-century move is planned with glassblowing demonstrations along this famous canal route that will not only mark the historic anniversary, but also serve to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Erie Canal, which opened in 1817, transforming transportation and making New York City the leading port in the United State
The Corning commemorative project will kick off with a launch its GlassBarge project in May 2018 from Brooklyn, from whence it will being a four-month journey. It will head “north on the Hudson, then westward along the Erie Canal from Albany to Buffalo” according to a Corning Museum announcement. The route is designed to recognize the evolution of various industries, cultures and communities in New York. The barge will provide free glass blowing shows to the public in communities from Yonkers to Buffalo, finally ending its voyage with a massive September 22, 2018 celebration in Corning. The GlassBarge plans to be accompanied by W.O. Decker, who will tug the GlassBarge, from the South Street Seaport Museum; the Lois McClure, a replica of of an 1862 canal barge and the C.L. Churchill, a tugboat built in 1964.
“We’re honoring this occasion by taking innovations developed by [Corning Museum of Glass]—namely, our patented electric hot shop and mobile hot glass programming—back to its roots: that notable journey along New York’s waterways.” said Rob Cassetti, the senior director of creative strategy & audience engagement at Corning Museum in a prepared statement, referring the move the museum took 150 years ago transporting all their equipment upriver.
The museum plans to have a “Crystal City Gallery” that will run concurrently to showcase the people, inventions and strategies that has excelled Corning from a studio to a billion-dollar glass researcher and manufacturer that has clients from Apple Inc. to NASA.
The project was funded by a $469,625 grant given by the the “I LOVE NEW YORK” program, New York State Canal Corporation and New York State Council on the Arts, all in part of an initiative by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council.
The mobile glassblowing barge is part of a larger event called the Erie Canal Bicentennial. The bicentennial will last from 2017 to 2025, the same amount of time it took to construct the canal. In 2017, there events celebrating the rich history of the canal that stretched from January to September.
IF YOU GO:
Corning Museum of Glass
May 2018 through September 22, 2018
Location to be announced
Phone: 800-732-6845 or 607-937-5371