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Bearded Iris-Cobalt

1996 Mary Carroll Born: Sioux City, Iowa 1958 polychrome glazed hand-built earthenware 18 x 18 x 17 1/4 in. (45.8 x 45.8 x 43.8 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the artist in honor of Frederick William Robert Hunt 1998.54 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 53B

Luce Center Quote

"I like the idea of taking something ordinary and transforming it into a fantasy object. Van Gogh successfully suggests movement in his paintings of iris and I wanted to do the same thing in three dimensions." Artist quoted in a letter to Kenneth Trapp, May 1998

Luce Center Label

Mary Carroll built the ornate and colorful Bearded Iris-Cobalt using coils and slabs of clay. She created the flower's texture by pressing the clay into molds made from savoy cabbage, whose leaves resemble iris petals. The colors and forms of the fully opened blooms evoke sensuality and boldness, strength and delicacy. Carroll uses anywhere from eight to ten layers of glaze, in a pot saturated in bold color, creating a glistening patch of flowers.


Object - flower - iris

decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay

ceramic - earthenware

About Mary Carroll

Born: Sioux City, Iowa 1958