Corn Flower Glass Gallery
W. J. Hughes Corn Flower Glass is a Canadian business success story. The striking floral pattern was developed in 1912 by a young glass-cutter named William John Hughes. The Dufferin-born artisan grew his tableware creations into a national brand that has been enjoyed by Canadian families for over a century.
The delicate glassware was sold to working class families, at an affordable price, to add a bit of elegance and charm to their dinner tables. Both W. J. Hughes and his son-in-law Pete Kayser were committed to the basic principles of quality and affordability, and their innovative marketing during the 1950s and 1960s made Corn Flower a household name.
With over 2500 pieces, the MoD is home to the largest public collection of W. J. Hughes Corn Flower glass in the world. Come discover the stunning creations of one of Canada’s earliest design minds and most compelling entrepreneurs.
In 2017, the Museum of Dufferin was successful in its application to the Canada 150 Infrastructure Program, and received a grant of $150,000 to be put towards a new and permanent Corn Flower Glass Gallery. Custom exhibit cases and state-of-the-art lighting show off the intricate details of the glass. The exhibition also features interactive displays, historic photographs of the Dufferin community, advertising materials and of course, the most rare, colourful Corn Flower glass.
We’re pleased to have worked on this project with an amazing team. Thank you to Architects Lebel & Bouliane, Alula Lighting Design and our construction management team, Ritestart Limited. This project was funded by the Government of Canada (Canada 150, Community Infrastructure Grant) as well as Central Counties Tourism and various private donors.
Did You Know?
The rarest colours of Corn Flower glass are blue, purple and vaseline (a vibrant yellow). It was difficult for chemists to keep these glass colours consistent during the mixing process. As a result, the Corn Flower company did not sell these colours very often! After 20 years of searching, the MoD has a small, treasured collection of these pieces.
Did You Know?
The MoD has launched an online database that contains photographs and details of the entire Corn Flower Glass collection. This database is available to the public, free of charge.
Did a family member pass Corn Flower glass on to you? Are you a glass collector? Search the database from the comfort of your own home. Perhaps you will discover some rare and beautiful pieces that you’ve had hidden away!
Donating Corn Flower Glass to the Collection
The Museum of Dufferin currently holds a collection of over 2500 pieces of authentic W. J. Hughes Corn Flower Glass. Please contact the Curator if you are interested in donating to our collection. We ask that you send along clear photographs of your pieces.
Gifting Corn Flower Glass to the Fundraising Program
Pieces not required for the collection may be gifted to the Museum to sell as part of our fundraising program in the MoD Gift Shop or our annual Corn Flower Consignment Sale (held annually in June). If you are interested in gifting your Corn Flower Glass, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (519) 941-1114.
Selling Corn Flower Glass
Each year in June we host a Corn Flower Glass consignment sale. Anyone can put their items on consignment with us, we then have them authenticated by experts, sell the authentic pieces and issue the original owner a cheque. If you are interested in selling your Corn Flower Glass in the sale, please contact email@example.com or call (519) 941-1114.
Special Note: The MoD would like to congratulate Alula Lighting Design on winning the 2019 Award of Merit for Lighting Design from the Illuminating Engineering Society.
All photography by Ben Rahn / A-Frame Studio