Coming to New York in 2018: A Floating Glass Museum

The Corning Museum of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass

In 2018, art fans in New York state who can’t make the trip to Steuben County to visit the Corning Museum of Glass can check out their floating mini-museum dedicated to the craft. Called GlassBarge, the traveling studio will cruise up the Hudson River and along the Erie Canal, providing live glass-blowing demonstrations in port cities along the way.


The Corning Museum of Glass

Corning, New York is home to Corning Incorporated, the major glass company once known as Corning Glass Works. Originally based in New York City and called the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company, the business relocated upstate in 1868 via New York’s rivers and waterways. Their commercial success ultimately led to the opening of the Corning Museum of Glass in 1951, which today contains one of the world's most important glass collections.


The Corning Museum of Glass

“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,” Rob Cassetti, Senior Director of Creative Strategy and Visitor Engagement at the Corning Museum of Glass, said in a statement.

Running from May through September, the upcoming GlassBarge voyage will help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the company's move from Brooklyn to upstate. The grant-funded trip kicks off in Brooklyn and ends in the Finger Lakes, with a concluding ceremony in Corning on September 22, 2018. Throughout the trip, glass artisans will hold live dockside demonstrations in Yonkers, Kingston, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo. Guiding the barge will be a historic tugboat, the W. O. Decker, which will travel alongside the Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 canal barge, and the C. L. Churchill, a 1964 tugboat.

In addition to marking an industrial milestone, GlassBarge will “allow us to share our story with a special audience: our neighbors here in New York state, who all know and love the waterways that enabled Corning to become what it is today,” Cassetti tells Mental Floss.

Rotting Fruit—Made of Glass—Is the Focus of a New Exhibition at Harvard

Strawberry with Penicillium sp. mold, Rudolf Blaschka, 1929
Strawberry with Penicillium sp. mold, Rudolf Blaschka, 1929
Jennifer Berglund © 2019 President and Fellows of Harvard College

A fuzzy blue strawberry, a pear mottled with unseemly blotches—rotting fruit is not normally thought of as beautiful. But just like the trees, flowers, and more attractive crops often featured in artwork, fruits dying on the branch are a normal part of nature. By spotlighting the summer fruits that never make it to market, the Harvard Museum of Natural History is calling on people to examine them in a different light.

The new exhibit, “Fruits in Decay," consists of astonishingly realistic glass models of apricots, plums, and other fruits in various stages of rot. Each intricate sculpture showcases the effects of a real-life agricultural disease. One branch is depicted with peach leaf curl, a disease caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans, and a pear bears the telltale dark spots of pear scab. There are more than 20 glass items on display.


Pear with pear scab, Rudolf Blaschka, 1929
Jennifer Berglund © 2019 President and Fellows of Harvard College

“Fruits in Decay" is the new focus of the Harvard Museum's famous "Glass Flowers" gallery. Every piece in the glass collection was crafted by either Leopold or Rudolf Blaschka, a Czech father-son team descended from a line of glassblowers stretching back to the 15th century. Active in the 19th and 20th centuries, they were known for creating realistic glass models of scientific specimens, 4300 of which are housed at Harvard today. The rotten fruit models were sculpted by Rudolf Blaschka between the years 1924 and 1932, at the end of his career.

“Rudolf Blaschka’s last work centered on the creation of these models of diseased fruits," Donald H. Pfister, curator of the Farlow Library and Herbarium of Cryptogamic Botany, said in statement. "They are the culmination of his lifelong attention to accuracy and innovation. They illustrate the effects of fungi as agents of disease in plants and point to their importance in agricultural systems.”

“Fruits in Decay" is open now at the Harvard Museum of Natural History and will be on view through March 1, 2020.

Branch with peach leaf curl, Model 798, Rudolf Blaschka, 1929
Branch with peach leaf curl, Rudolf Blaschka, 1929
Jennifer Berglund © 2019 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Collection of Star Wars-Inspired Insect Art Is Coming to Los Angeles Gallery

Richard Wilkinson
Richard Wilkinson

The Star Wars universe is known for its larger-than-life spaceships, weapons, and characters. For his new gallery exhibition, "Arthropoda Iconicus," artist Richard Wilkinson decided to take a different approach. As Gizmodo reports, he has reimagined pieces of Star Wars iconography as new species of insects.

The creepy collection goes on display at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles on September 6. At first glance, the bugs look like specimens you'd find at a natural history museum. But pop culture connoisseurs will recognize that each critter is inspired by something from a movie, television show, video game, comic book, or even a popular product or brand.

The Star Wars-inspired insects are the stars of the show. R2-D2 has been reinterpreted as a beetle dubbed Robodoubus deoduoubus, and Yoda appears as Dominos magister. C-3PO, a stormtrooper, and Darth Vader are all represented, too.

R2-D2 beetle.
Richard Wilkinson

C3PO bug.
Richard Wilkinson

Yoda insect.
Richard Wilkinson

Stormtrooper as bug.
Richard Wilkinson

Book of Star Wars icons as bugs.
Richard Wilkinson

Many of the works on display are taken from Wilkinson's book Arthropoda Iconicus Volume I: Insects From A Far Away Galaxy. All 148 pieces in the exhibit will be available to purchase for $20 as 8-inch-by-10-inch prints when the show opens Friday. The art will also sold through Hero Complex's website starting at 11:00 a.m. PST on September 7.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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