Karol Wight appointed executive director at Corning Museum of Glass

karol_wight.jpgKarol Wight, senior curator of antiquities at the Getty Villa and internationally renowned specialist in Roman glass, was named the next executive director of The Corning Museum of Glass. Wight will succeed David Whitehouse, who has been executive director of the Museum since 1999. Whitehouse will continue his research and contributions to the museum by serving as senior scholar.

Currently head of the Department of Antiquities of the J. Paul Getty Museum, located at the Getty Villa in Malibu, Calif., Wight will assume her new post Aug. 15, 2011. At the Corning Museum, she will oversee its 45,000-object collection – the world’s most important glass collection including the finest examples of glassmaking across centuries and cultures – as well as its studio, library, programming, and publications. Wight will be joining a management team led by president Marie McKee, who will continue to oversee museum administration and help to define institutional strategy.

In her 26-year tenure at the Getty, Wight, 52, grew from a graduate intern to become the senior curator of antiquities at the Getty Villa, the Getty Museum’s site dedicated to the study and display of its antiquities collection. She has organized numerous exhibitions exploring glass from antiquity and its enduring impact, and has published widely on the topic. Her book on ancient glassmaking techniques, “Molten Color, Glassmaking in Antiquity,” was published by the Getty in May.

Wight helped to oversee a $275 million renovation, expansion, and reinstallation at the Villa and was instrumental in helping to create a revised acquisitions policy to ensure responsible collections development for antiquities at the Getty Museum. She has taken a key role in facilitating a successful restitution program with Italy that encompasses cultural exchanges of works of art, exhibition development, conferences, and conservation projects. She received her Ph.D. from the art history department at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a member of several international associations for the study of glass.

The Corning Museum of Glass campus in Corning includes a year-round glassmaking school, The Studio, and the Rakow Research Library, the world’s preeminent collection of materials on the art and history of glass. Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State, the Museum is open daily, year-round. Kids and teens, 19 and under, receive free admission.

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