The Corning Museum of Glass officially cancelled all its classes, events, and programs when it temporarily closed its doors on Monday, May 16th, but the world's largest museum of glass art is doing its part to help the glass community stay connected and productive during an unprecedented time when the nation is promoting social distancing as the best hope to control the spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the coronavirus.
Already a leader in incorporating digital content into its offerings, Corning is offering the public newly curated lists of videos and demos via its YouTube channel. While many may be familiar with the high-quality videos shot at the state-of-the-art amphitheater hotshop, this initiative includes a number of other valuable resources to broaden ones knowledge of history and technique.
The museum has made publicly accessible digital scans of materials from the Rakow Research Library, many of which can easily be searched by keyword. The museum has also made digital editions of New Glass Review from every year since it began in 1979 available for online viewing.
Of special interest may be the curated playlist of artist demos from the studio, where glass artists who may have seen their classes cancelled at glass centers around the U.S. and Canada, can continue to learn from some of the top practitioners in the field.
“We are in the midst of an unprecedented moment for museums and cultural institutions across the country,” said the museum's president and executive director Karol Wight, in a prepared statement. “With widespread closures due to COVID-19, our most direct way to reach the public is no longer a viable option. We are all doing what we can to make sure the visitors who would normally walk through our doors know that they can still engage with us from the comfort of their homes.”
For those artists looking for contemporary inspiration, or to learn from the past, the museum's Collection’s Browser makes it easy to sort results by keywords such as "contemporary" or "ancient" as well as "technology."
And finally, a virtual walk-through of the museum is available via Google Art + Culture, much like you can navigate a neighborhood via StreetView. "Walk" scrollable, 360-degree views of the actual museum exhibitions, including both the Contemporary Art + Design Wing as well as the historic galleries, and even the Science and Innovation Center.
“We’re all facing a changed and unprecedented reality,” Wight continued. “As sad as we are that we can’t welcome you to visit the Museum in person right now, we’re glad that you’re keeping yourself safe and healthy at home. And we hope that you will enjoy engaging with us through these digital resources, our new blog content, and our social media channels. We’ll continue to bring you exciting content and fascinating stories about this material we love.”