Skip to main content

Josh Simpson Papers

Identifier: MS-0149

Scope and Contents

These papers of a contemporary glass artist who specializes in paperweights made in planetary forms and themes are divided into two series:

(1) Articles and Ephemera, 1970-2017

(2) Audiovisual Materials and Web Sites, 1998-2019


  • 1970-2019


Language of Materials

The majority of materials are in English; some Japanese language materials are present as well.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for public research. Researchers must make an appointment to view the collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The user agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rakow Research Library against all claims, demands, costs and expenses incurred by copyright infringement or any other legal or regulatory cause of action arising from the use of Library materials.

Biographical / Historical

Josh Simpson was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1949. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1972 and embarked on a career as a glass artist based in Western Massachusetts. Already by the late 1970s, his work was featured in significant group exhibitions, including "American Crafts at the White House" (1977) and "New Glass: A Worldwide Survey" (1979). His first of many solo exhibitions was held in 1984. Simpson's work is housed in many museum collections, including The Corning Museum of Glass, Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Newfields (formerly Indianapolis Museum of Art), and the Ringling Museum of Art.

Simpson is best known for his glass planets, paperweights inspired by planetary forms and science and made in a variety of sizes. In 2005 The Corning Museum of Glass commissioned Simpson to create a 100 lb. paperweight, titled "Megaplanet," as the 1000th paperweight in the Museum's collection and featured in the exhibition "Worlds Within: The Evolution of the Paperweight."

Simpson has also held a number of leadership positions in his field. He has served as a board member of the American Craft Council, founding president of the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, and President and Treasurer of the Glass Art Society. He is also a Fellow of The Corning Museum of Glass.

Simpson is married to retired astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman.


"Josh Simpson's 100-Pound Megaplanet." The Corning Museum of Glass.

Resume. Josh Simpson Glass.


26.5 Linear Feet (45 Hollinger boxes, 3 half Hollinger boxes, 2 flat boxes)

17.2 Gigabytes

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from Josh Simpson in 2019, 2018, and previous years.

Related Materials

There are several works by Josh Simpson in The Corning Museum of Glass object collection. Megaplanet (2006.4.154), a planet-inspired paperweight weighing over 100 lbs., is perhaps the most notable.

A sizeable set of murrine was donated with the 2018 accession and is described in RR26836.

Processing Information

Processed by Colleen McFarland Rademaker in 2019.

Josh Simpson Papers, 1970-2019
A Guide to the Collection
Colleen McFarland Rademaker
June 26, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The Rakow Research Library Manuscript Collection Repository

The Rakow Research Library
The Corning Museum of Glass
Five Museum Way
Corning NY 14830 USA