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A glassblower makes glass aboard GlassBarge. Courtesy: the Corning Museum of Glass.

Corning Museum of Glass to Launch a Mobile Glassblowing Studio

The Corning Museum of Glass in New York has announced a new initiative, GlassBarge, a mobile glassblowing studio that will sail New York’s waterways in tribute to the voyage Brooklyn Flint Glass Company made to Corning, New York, in 1868, the company known today as Corning Incorporated.

“The 1868 trip on the Hudson River and canal systems of New York State launched 150 years of glass innovation in Corning,” said Rob Cassetti, senior director of the museum’s creative strategy and audience engagement. “The glass inventions and technology developed in Corning have shaped the modern world, from the first electric light bulbs for Thomas Edison and the invention of optical fiber for telecommunications, to the glass used in modern flat-screen displays. The success of the company led to the opening of The Corning Museum of Glass.”

Over the course of four months, GlassBarge will travel north on the Hudson, then westward along the Erie Canal. It will stop in Yonkers, Kingston, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo. In each port city, the Corning Museum of Glass will provide free glassblowing demonstrations for the public from the deck of the boat. The tour will conclude in the Finger Lakes, completing the journey in Watkins Glen. A ceremonial last leg of the trip by land will conclude in Corning with a community-wide celebration on September 22, 2018.

The museum will fund GlassBarge through $469,625 in grants it received through Empire State Development’s I LOVE NEW YORK program, the New York State Canal Corporation, and New York State Council on the Arts, under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

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