The Corning Museum of Glass exterior
Get a crystal-clear view of the history, art, and science of making glass at the Corning Museum of Glass. A four-day trip led by Bill Keene offers participants a true insider’s experience and includes curator-conducted sessions and tours.
Curatorial staff members lead the group through more than 3,500 years of glassmaking history in the Ancient Glass, European Glass, and Contemporary Glass galleries. The newest special exhibition, “Dig Deeper: Discovering an Ancient Glass Workshop,” spotlights insights into ancient glassblowing and glassmaking through the presentation of artifacts from a 4th-century glass workshop discovered in Jalame, Israel. The exhibition also allows visitors to immersively experience ancient glassblowing. Afterward, explore the many ways glass touches wine as it travels from the grape to your goblet in Fire and Vine: The Story of Glass and Wine.
The museum’s Contemporary Art + Design Wing is an attraction in itself. Take a guided tour of the wing, which opened in 2015. Its 26,000-square-foot gallery—where a sophisticated system of diffused skylights supplies most of the lighting—is the world’s largest space dedicated to the display of contemporary art and design in glass.
A conservator leads participants behind the scenes to get a close-up look at the work of the museum’s conservation lab. The group also is welcomed to the Rakow Research Library, the world’s foremost library on the art, history, and science of glass and glassmaking. Meet with collections and exhibits specialists to explore how the museum manages and displays its collections.
Visit the museum’s Innovation Center and learn about the science and technology behind innovations in glass through hands-on exhibits. Experience the fire and flow of glassmaking as you view a demonstration at the state-of-the-art Amphitheater Hot Shop. Included with your visit is the opportunity to try your hand at a seasonal glassmaking project working one-on-one with seasoned artisans.
There is also free time to browse in the museum’s shops and along the town’s Market Street.
Know Before You Go
- Cost includes bus transportation, lodging, all activities (including hands-on glassmaking), admissions and fees, gratuities, and the following meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners.
- Overnight accommodations are at the Radisson Hotel Corning.
- Tour departs by bus from the Mayflower Hotel, Connecticut Ave. and DeSales St., NW, with a pickup stop at the 1-270 Exit 26 Urbana carpool lot at about 7:55 a.m.
- Single-room supplement $225 (factored into the Single Room Member and Single Room Non-Member pricing).
- Singles registering at the double-room rate are paired (on a nonsmoking basis) if possible, but must pay the single-room supplement otherwise.
- Detailed information is emailed to registrants about four weeks prior to departure.
- Participants are advised to purchase travel insurance for overnight and multi-day tours from a provider of your choice. Travel insurance provides additional coverage against unforeseen incidents that require last-minute cancellations.
- Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday, October 31, 2023.
- The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.
- Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn on buses at all times and may also be required at various indoor sites.
- For additional tour information: