Sculpture & Carvings
Dale Chihuly Super Rare 1979 Navajo Blanket Cylinder Signed Large Glass Sculpture
Click Thumbnails to Enlarge
Description: Navajo Blanket Series Cylinder
Medium: Blown glass
Signed and dated 1979
Size: 8 1/4" x 3 3/4"
Condition: The piece is in mint condition. Slight bubbling throughout from all created in the process.
This piece is in beautiful museum quality condition and apart of Chihuly's most sought after collection, Navajo Blanket. Zero flaws in this hand picked piece of art that has sat with the original owner until now. We have listed the item with the best offer option. The first person to meet our bottom line will take one of kind authentic piece home. Shipping and professional packaging is included. All though the acrylic display vitrine was not available in 1979, we have included one for safe keeping. Enjoy your chance at a very rare opportunity to own a very rare piece of Chihuly history.
About the Chihuly Navajo Basket Series
Chihuly’s second major series, the Baskets, was inspired by a 1977 visit with James Carpenter and Italo Scanga to the History Museum at the Washington State Historical Society in his hometown of Tacoma. Viewing the museum’s collection of Northwest Coast Indian baskets, Chihuly was struck by their organic forms and pliable yet strong structures, and by the way in which their symmetrical forms had been distorted while stacked together for storage.53 Chihuly had acquired his first Native American basket in 1970, and Carpenter had started collecting Northwest Coast Indian baskets during the summer of Pilchuck’s founding in 1971.54 As a native of the Northwest and a former textile artist, Chihuly was exceptionally receptive to the history and aesthetics of these traditional fiber containers.
Chihuly’s First Baskets installation of 1977 (fig. 11) at the Seattle Art Museum Pavilion paid tribute to his magical first encounter with the basket collection at the History Museum. These baskets of folded glass replicated the effects of weight, gravity, and time on their prototypes, while simultaneously transcending these forces by being rendered in a permanent medium. Chihuly’s Black Set (fig. 12) of 1980 recalls the luminous blackware pottery (fig. 13) created by Maria Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico. Modeling her work on archaeological prototypes, Martinez transformed modern blackware into a marketable commodity whose renewed popularity in the 1960s and 1970s made her the most famous Native American artist and a cultural icon.
Chihuly’s artistic embrace of Navajo blankets, Northwest Coast baskets, and Pueblo pottery can be viewed within a broader cultural context. These objects were among the first Native American crafts to be appreciated and actively collected for their aesthetic qualities in the late nineteenth century. Louis Comfort Tiffany’s “Indian Basket” Lamp (fig. 14), like Chihuly’s later Navajo Blanket Cylinders, fused fiber motifs and the glass medium to capitalize on this interest. These cultures appeared to preserve unbroken traditions of mythology, spirituality, communal responsibility, environmental sensitivity, and artistic creation, and thus they seemed to provide modern Euro-American viewers—and artists—with access to the roots of a collective past.
Maturing as an artist during this peak period of interest in Native American cultures, Chihuly embraced their objects both as an artist and as a collector. He later enshrined both the sources of his inspiration and the resulting creations in the “Indian Room” installation (fig. 15) of his Seattle “Boathouse” studio, which houses four hundred trade blankets by Pendleton and other makers, seventeen Navajo Blanket Cylinders, eighty-three Native American baskets, nineteen glass Baskets, forty-four framed photogravures of Indian women from Edward S. Curtis’s folio, The North American Indian, an Algonquin birchbark canoe, and a 1915 Indian Twin motorcycle.56 Fittingly, given the communal philosophy that Chihuly implemented both at Pilchuck and in his studio, the wood post-and-plank architecture of the “Indian Room” recalls another type of communal gathering place—the Native American longhouse.
Ironically, while many Navajo blankets, Northwest Coast baskets, and pueblo pots were modeled on historical antecedents, their forms, colors, and content often were influenced by Euro-American patronage and by their marketing as commodities within the context of the tourist industry. Chihuly’s Pendleton blankets, Curtis photogravures, and Indian motorcycle reveal that he values not only original Native American objects but also objects that have been inspired by these cultures—like his own Navajo Blanket Cylinders and Baskets.58 Chihuly’s defining aesthetic of cultural appropriation, fusion, and hybridity is epitomized by the “Indian Room,” which reveals his ability to knit together culturally diverse objects and ideas into a unified whole.