For almost 20 years, the MMFA has collected and interpreted art from the American Studio Glass movement from artists who use glass to draw with color and light. Recently we had the chance to acquire two works that greatly expand and enhance not only our collection, but also the understanding of the history of contemporary glass. First is Orange Triple Movement, 1983, by Harvey Littleton (American, 1922–2014), the man internationally recognized as the “Father of the Studio Glass movement”. This inventive work comes from one of his best-known series: Topological Geometry. In this piece Littleton utilized gravity to pull, bend, and shape the glass into elegant layers of flowing orange tones—a hue that is difficult to control. In fact, the success Littleton found with the challenges of this piece made it one of his favorites.
The second acquisition is an innovative work by the influential collaborative team of Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora Mace (American, born 1952 and 1949). Doll Drawing with Rebecca, 1983 features a unique process pioneered by the two artists. Liking the quality of a drawn line, they decided to use thin metal wires to replicate pencil marks in the glass. The “drawings” are filled in with colored glass before they embed it all in clear glass and form the vessel. This piece is an early example of their work and complements sculptures from a later series of glass fruit, also part of the MMFA Permanent Collection.
Both pieces, along with many other works, are now on view in our freshly reinstalled Weil Atrium gallery. Come out to see both of them as well as the many other pieces that will dazzle and delight your eyes.
If you’d like to learn more, you can hear Harvey Littleton describe his inspiration and process by going online to an interview hosted by the Archives of American Art. The interview is found at http://www.aaa.si.edu/
Curator of Art