Corning, New York, a center for glass cutting and engraving for almost a century, is home to The Corning Museum of Glass and its nearby Rakow Research Library. Both having survived a devastating flood in 1972, the Museum and Library renovated and expanded in 2001 to the state of the art facility on its fiftieth anniversary; the Museum is the largest in the world for silicate art, while the library is also renowned for its collection, consisting of over fifty thousand publications on the art, history and technology of glass. In July, as part of the museum tour from the 2010 Gathering of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) in Rochester, New York, I was able to view the superb ancient glass on display, focusing most of my attention on those related to ornaments and personal adornment, my area of interest in glass.
Origins of Glassmaking, Glass of the Romans and Glass in the Islamic World comprise in chronological order those galleries of most interest to those who study ancient glass ornaments. Besides the glass artifacts, there is an instructive map of glassmaking/glassworking sites in antiquity, a reconstruction of an ancient Egyptian glass furnace and a video, showing the remarkable Uluburun shipwreck and its glass ingots.
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