Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Greetings from Ithaca

We are spending a few days looking at colleges with Daniel and sightseeing along the way, so after saying farewell to our cats this morning -- the poor creatures were fed by my mother until Hufflepants took over cat-sitting duties, a fairly typical state of neglect -- we headed northwest. We had a pretty drive to Bucknell -- in addition to fields of corn and horses, cows, and other animals on the Maryland and Pennsylvania farms we passed, we saw deer and fawns near the woods and herons and egrets on rocks in the Susquehanna River (plus a miniature Statue of Liberty on a half-submerged pillar near Harrisburg). We had a picnic lunch at Bucknell, which is not all that high on Daniel's list of top choices but has a very well-rated engineering program and we wanted him to look at a smaller undergraduate college as well as the big universities. There weren't any tours of the engineering school going today but we walked around the campus, which is very pretty and surrounded by mountains.

Then we drove into New York toward Cornell, stopping at the Corning Museum of Glass, which I'd wanted to see for a long time. It's absolutely stunning and really difficult to take in on a short visit; there's a huge new contemporary glass collection near the entrance, then a multi-room exhibit of glass through history from ancient Lebanon through Louis Comfort Tiffany (and unlike in Richmond, we could take photos here). There were glassblowing demonstrations but since we've seen that recently at Art of Fire, we stayed in the main exhibit halls, where there's also a display on industrial and technological uses of glass -- everything from beer bottles to telescope lenses -- and a fantastic gift shop containing everything from glass Christmas ornaments to glass bead jewelry to locally made artisan vases and sculptures. At dinnertime we drove to Ithaca, where we cooked in our hotel room. Tomorrow, Cornell!

Ormand Oak and Neff's Mountain, two vases from the collection of Natalie & Ben Heinemann, recently donated to the Corning Museum of Glass.

These are some of the oldest items on display -- pendants with the heads of a man and a ram and beads from Lebanon, all older than 250 B.C.

Two Amen goblets from England circa 1749-50 with the Jacobite anthem engraved on them.

A window from Rochroane Castle by Tiffany, depicting the Hudson River landscape as seen from Irvington-on-Hudson with hollyhocks, clematis, and trumpet vines.

A glass Liberty Bell by the H.C. Fry Glass Company, made in 1905 for display at the Lewis and Clark Exposition.

A snake vase by Rene Lalique from the early 1900s.

Adam took this photo of my head seen through a crystal ball.

This is the chapel at Bucknell. The buildings in the main quadrangle are the same architectural style and forested hills surround the school.

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