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Howard Ben Tre     First Vase

First Vase
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of the James Renwick Alliance and museum purchase made possible by the Smithsonian Collections Acquistion Program
1989, cast-glass, 43 7/8 x 55 3/4 in.

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First Vase is a monumental, solid, cast-glass sculpture. A vase in name only, this piece neither rests on a shelf nor holds water. As light is transmitted, diffused, and refracted through the dense glass mass, this sculpture springs to life, constantly transforming itself as its environment changes. Weighing more than a ton, First Vase is a technical tour de force.