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Butterfly: Sacred Transformation

1993 Jody Stewart-Keller Born: Norfolk, Virginia 1954 stitched and woven glass beads, Austrian lead crystal beads, and sterling silver 16 x 9 3/4 x 1/4 in. (40.6 x 24.8 x .6 cm) irregular Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist in memory of her great-great grandmother, Annie Crippen, Ojibwa 1996.95 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

“In nature, the butterfly is a marvel of beauty and mystery . . . When a [caterpillar] becomes a butterfly, it goes through an amazing metamorphosis. This transformation renders a creature that captivates mankind.” Artist’s statement

Luce Center Label

In Butterfly: Sacred Transformation, Jody Stewart-Keller weaves together “tiny dots of color” using glass beads to create a miniature mosaic butterfly. The color of butterflies comes from light reflecting off the tiny scales that line their wings, and Stewart-Keller incorporates a variety of beads, including luster, opaque, silver-lined, and transparent, to achieve the same effect. The title refers to the metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly, which, in many cultures, signifies spiritual rebirth.


Animal - insect - butterfly

decorative arts - glass

Crafts - Glass


glass - crystal

metal - silver

About Jody Stewart-Keller

Born: Norfolk, Virginia 1954

More works in the collection by
Jody Stewart-Keller