William Morris

Glass Shard Vessel Handblown Contemporary Art

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Artist: William Morris
Title: Glass Shard Vessel
Medium: Hand Blown Glass
Size: 9 5/16" high
Signed: Signed and dated
Year: 1980
Provenance: Gallery Certificate
Condition: Very good condition overall, request full condition report for details

This complex and interesting William Morris Glass Shard Vessel speaks volumes about  the dramatic evolution of fine glass art over the past 50 years. The unusual, organic shape of the vessel and the glass shards were vastly ahead of their time for 1980, foreshadowing the techniques and aesthetic we'd later come to see in the glass art of Dale Chihuly and Richard Marquis. Glass shards are a major component in much of Morris' work, and they are particularly prominent in this piece thanks to their large size and the use a white background. Although Morris' work is quite modern in style, he draws inspiration from nature which help lend a timeless quality to his art. William Morris' Glass Shard Vessel is signed and dated by the artist and comes with a certificate of authenticity from Modern Artifact. 

William Morris is renowned for making glass work that simultaneously looks both modern and ancient. His "Spider Web Tracery" glass vase is a truly timeless piece of glass art that showcases that dichotomy perfectly. Morris drew inspiration for this vase from a wide range of modern and ancient cultures, making the piece almost universally appealing.

William Morris was born in Carmel, California in 1957. He is an American glass artist who has been able to change the history of art within his lifetime. Morris was educated at California State University in Chico, California as well as Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. In 1978, Morris arrived at the Pilchuck Glass School and found work initially as a driver. Later, he worked with Dale Chihuly, the founder of the school, and eventually became his chief gaffer in the 1980s. Morris remained with Chihuly for about 10 years before deciding to form his own studio and develop his own artistic style of glass blowing.

For more than twenty-five years, William Morris has captivated and intrigued the art community with hauntingly evocative and beautiful glass sculptures. He has captured the imagination time and again by creating objects that appear to be ancient stone or woodcarvings, not the modern glass sculptures they actually are. His art speaks of human origins, myth, ancestry, and ancient civilizations. It symbolizes a harmony between humanity and nature and provides a ghost-like bond to the world around us – a world that is often forgotten, ignored, and abused.

Morris gathers much of his inspiration from ancient cultures from around the world – Egyptian, Asian, Native American – all peoples who respected and admired the land they inhabited. Because of this, Morris’s artwork has become something all its own: culturally distinct and yet familiar to all cultures. His pieces embody a spiritual quality that sharply contrasts old beliefs with those of the modern world. These objects speak to our senses and continuously beg us to explore them further.

Morris achieved much success during his career and retired in 2007. He spent over twenty-five years honing his skills and pushing the medium of glass further than anyone, including himself, could ever have imagined.

American Craft Museum, New York, NY
Auckland Museum, Auckland, New Zealand
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA
Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Racine, WI
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY
Daiichi Museum, Nagoya, Japan
Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle, WA
The Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH
Delta Airlines, Portland, OR
The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
Edmonds Arts Commission, Edmonds, WA
First Union Bank, Charlotte, NC
Florida National Collection, Florida National Bank, Jacksonville, FL
Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan
Hunter Museum, Chattanooga, TN
IBM Corporation, Tulsa, OK
J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY
The Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA
Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NB
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
McDonald’s Corporation, Oakbrook, IL and Bellevue, WA
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Microsoft Corporation, Redmond, WA
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
Missoula Museum of the Arts, Missoula, MT
Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL
Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Paris, France
Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Museum of American Glass, Millville, NJ
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX
Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA
Niijima Contemporary Glass Art Museum, Niijima, Japan
Norton Museum of Art, Palm Beach, FL
Palm Springs Desert Museum, Palm Springs, CA
Pilchuck Collection, Stanwood, WA
Port of Seattle, Seattle, WA
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Racine Art Museum, Racince, WI
Rockefeller Center, New York, NY
Royal College of Art, London, England
Safeco Insurance Company, Seattle, WA
Seattle-First National Bank Collection, Seattle, WA
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle, WA
Updated: August 2014 27 of 28
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Permanent Installation, Seattle, WA
Security Pacific Collection, Security Pacific Bank, Seattle, WA
Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Sheraton Seattle Hotel and Towers Collection, Seattle, WA
Shimonoseki City Art Museum, Shimonoseki, Japan
Smithsonian Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC
State Foundation of Culture in the Arts, Honolulu, HI
State of Oregon Public Services Building, Portland, OR
Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA
The Pilchuck Glass Collection at City Centre and US Bank Center, Seattle, WA
The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH
Toyota USA, Corporate Retreat, Hilo, HI
UPS Corporate Collection, Louisville, KY
United Airlines, San Francisco, CA
University of Miami, Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, FL
University of Michigan, Dearborn, MI
U.S. News and World Report, Washington, DC
The Valley National Bank of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA
Yellowstone Art Museum, Billings, MT
Westin Hotel, San Francisco, CA

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