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The Listening Point

1999 Mary Van Cline Born: Dallas, Texas 1954 photosensitive cast glass and black pate de verre 25 3/8 x 20 3/8 x 4 in. (64.6 x 51.7 x 10.3 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the James Renwick Alliance 1999.38 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

“I’m setting the stage, but I’m not controlling the story line. The viewer can create his own story.” Mary Van Cline, The Taft Museum, 1993

Luce Center Label

Mary Van Cline took a cultural exchange residency in Japan in 1987. Inspired by Buddhist temple architecture and Japanese theater, she began to construct theater sets and narratives within her photos. The Listening Point depicts a scene outside the Kyoto Temple in which Van Cline has arranged draped figures to suggest yin and yang, the Chinese principle of universal opposites.


Architecture Exterior - detail - stairs

Dress - accessory - scarf

Dress - costume - mask

Ethnic - Japanese

Figure group

decorative arts - glass

Crafts - Glass