Night Blooming Serious

Copied Pat Kramer, Night Blooming Serious, 2003, Norfolk island pine, 15 12 in. × 5 in. (39.4 × 12.7 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Jeffrey Bernstein, M.D. and Judith Chernoff, M.D., 2021.66.23

Artwork Details

Night Blooming Serious
Not on view
15 12 in. × 5 in. (39.4 × 12.7 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Jeffrey Bernstein, M.D. and Judith Chernoff, M.D.
Mediums Description
Norfolk island pine
  • Object — other — dish
Object Number

Artwork Description

When Pat Kramer turns Norfolk Island pine, he allows the wood to reveal its mood as he goes. When working on this vessel, he recalled, “it desperately wanted to be pretty but dangerous. I followed this thread, carving and refining the shape and lines and cutting and burning the textures to add to the emotional context I was trying to maintain.”

This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World, 2022

Verbal Description

With its thin, lightly ruffled, and delicately upturned edges, this inky black wooden bowl roughly resembles the head of a flower. It is about fifteen and a half inches in diameter with a depth of five inches. Six raised, dark amber teardrops line the satiny-slick inside walls of the bowl, separating them into equidistant, petal-like sections. Each teardrop is outlined in a textured black pattern that connects at the bottom of the bowl to form a six-pointed star shape. At the center lies a pile of tiny overlapping black spheres that create a texture similar to caviar, or fish eggs.

The teardrop pattern repeats around the outside of the bowl, with each teardrop tapering as it reaches the bowl’s base. At the outer base, a short, black, fang-shaped leg sits between each of the six tapered ends. The points of the five fangs support the weight of the bowl.


Quilt featuring the portrait of a woman
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World
May 13, 2022April 2, 2023
This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World showcases the dynamic landscape of American craft today.