Burial Raft

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Object Name: 
Burial Raft
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 17.8 cm, W: 50.8 cm, D: 27.9 cm
Not on Display
Credit Line: 
Gift of Irwin R. Berman, M.D., in memory of his wife, Linda
Web Description: 
William Morris grew up discovering arrowheads and potsherds left by Native Americans in the caves and wilderness of Southern California. He studied art at California State University in Chico, and, at the age of 20, he traveled to the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State to study with the famed glassblower Dale Chihuly (American, b. 1941). Since his first solo show in 1980, Morris has become one of the most influential artists in American studio glass. Throughout his career, he has explored themes related to archaeology, prehistory, life, death, and the natural world. Burial Raft is part of a series created in the early 1990s, when Morris was still making his “Canopic Jars” and developing his “Suspended Artifacts” sculptures. Each piece from the “Burial Raft” series consists of a glass canoe mounted on a steel stand that is filled with an arrangement of glass bones, spears, and other artifacts associated with death and transformation. The blown glass in Burial Raft has been given texture through hot-applied glass powders and acid etching. Morris prefers the way light interacts with these roughened surfaces, which closely resemble the surfaces of bones and ancient artifacts. The last Burial Raft of this series was created in 1993. Signed: “William/ Morris /1993,” engraved on base of boat. Published: Gary Blonston, William Morris: Artifacts/Glass, New York: Abbeville Press, 1996, p. 34. For more information, see Isabel Allende and James Yood, William Morris: Mazorca, Objects of Common Ceremony, Seattle: Marquand Books, 2004; and James Yood and Tina Oldknow, William Morris: Animal/ Artifact, New York: Abbeville Press, 2000.
Berman, Dr. Irwin, Source
Friesen Gallery, Former Collection
William / Morris / 1993
Engraved (a) on base of boat in script
Primary Description: 
Sculpture, "Burial Raft". Dark brown, white, red, and amber glasses, painted steel; blown and hot-worked with applied glass powders, acid-etched. Sculpture consists of a shallow canoe-shape mounted on a two-poled painted steel stand. Canoe is filled with an arrangement of bones and a short length of spear; bones cross over the opening of the canoe.
Recent Important Acquisitions (New Glass Review 36) (2015) illustrated, p. 118 (bottom); BIB# AI99415
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2014 (2015) illustrated, p. 54 (#37); BIB# AI100547
Recent Acquisitions (2014) illustrated, p. 14, right; BIB# AI98736
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2014 (2014) illustrated, pp. 8, 38; BIB# 706293
William Morris: Artifacts--Glass (1996) p. 34; BIB# 36220