Untitled (Glass Vessel)

  • Dale Chihuly, Untitled (Glass Vessel), 1979, glass, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Diane and Sandy Besser, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2001.71.1, © 1978, Chihuly, Inc.

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Dale Chihuly's Untitled (Glass Vessel) was inspired by a 1977 visit to the Washington State Historical Society, where the artist viewed the museum's collection of American Indian baskets. Upon returning to his studio, he decided to re-create them in glass, especially the aged and asymmetrical look of the baskets. Using a tobacco brown–colored glass, he blew into the blowpipe until the molten glass was as thin as possible. Then he let heat from the furnace along with gravity manipulate the material to the point just before it collapsed under its own weight, the first time he employed such a technique. In Untitled, Chihuly included lines and crosshatch markings, which recall the original weave pattern of the American Indian baskets.
Untitled (Glass Vessel)
5 7/8 x 4 7/8 x 4 7/8 in. (15.0 x 12.3 x 12.5 cm)
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Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Diane and Sandy Besser, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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