Three Graces Oblivious While Los Angeles Burns

Three Graces Oblivious While Los Angeles Burns

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Object Name: 
Three Graces Oblivious While Los Angeles Burns
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 53.7 cm, W: 24.7 cm, D: 22.7 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
Joyce Scott uses glass beads to address topics such as sexuality, violence, and civil rights. Three Graces Oblivious While Los Angeles Burns was created in the wake of the beating of Rodney King, an African- American construction worker, by police officers in Los Angeles. In March 1991, police beat and then arrested King after pulling him over for speeding. A bystander caught the incident on tape and sent it to television news stations, where it was repeatedly broadcast. Indicted on charges of assault and filing false reports, the police officers were tried in 1992 in Simi Valley, a predominantly white suburb of Los Angeles. They were acquitted of all charges. Following news of the acquittals, massive rioting in Los Angeles left 53 people dead and 8,000 others under arrest. Later, the police officers were retried and convicted, and the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department was forced to resign. Beneath the head of an African-American, representing the victimized King, the three Graces—who symbolize gracefulness, peace, and happiness—turn their backs on flat gray beaded facades with bright orange spirals of flame, representing a burning skyline. For Scott, the choice of beads is intentional. Beadworking is traditionally regarded as a woman’s pursuit, and it is usually associated with jewelry and other decorative applications, especially in ethnographic and folk art. However, in Scott’s hands, the bead becomes a medium to communicate ideas about racism and justice.
Ester Saks Gallery, Source
Primary Description: 
Blown and flameworked glass; woven, knotted and stitched glass beads and nylon string. A tall, composite sculpture of a colorless and opaque white glass stand with polychrome beadwork figures and woven pictorial beaded decoration. The scene represents the three white beaded Graces "dancing" around the exterior with a stylized pictorial representation of the burning of Los Angeles around the large glass stand. On the top, a small figure is throwing a "rock" down onto the grimacing head of Rodney King. The clear and opaque glass stand is tubular in shape with 3 protrusions or "arms" which support the figures of the three Graces. Many different colors and sizes of glass beads have been used, strung and woven on nylon string.
Corning Museum of Glass 2013-05-18 through 2014-01-05
For 30,000 years, mankind has crafted beads from natural materials. With the discovery of glassmaking in the second millennium B.C., glass began to be used for this same purpose. Glass beads are universal. They have been produced throughout the 35 centuries of glass manufacturing, and by nearly every culture in the world. The glass beads and beaded objects on view in this exhibition are arranged thematically, comparing the manner in which diverse cultures have utilized beads, frequently for the same purposes, but sometimes for unique reasons. These themes explore how glass beads adorn the body and our possessions; how they convey messages about power and wealth, and identify the stages of human life; how they serve ritual purposes, as well as decorate clothing and objects used in rituals; and how they have been employed across the centuries as a means of exchange, both commercial and cultural. Through the centuries, beads have been made using a variety of processes. Understanding how beads were made has allowed scholars to follow the transmission of beads and beadmaking techniques across the globe. Across time and around the world, glass beads have become a common element of mankind. Through their manufacture and function, they are one of the strings that bind humanity together. “Life on a String” celebrates this common bond while also revealing the distinctiveness of different societies through their use of glass beads to celebrate their unique cultural heritage.
Corning Museum of Glass
Changing Exhibitions Gallery
Kickin' It With Joyce J. Scott
ExhibitsUSA 2003-12-16 through 2004-06
California African American Museum 2004-06-16 through 2004-10-20
Dane G. Hansen Memorial Museum 2004-11-10 through 2005-01-07
Art Museum of South Texas 2005-01-28 through 2006-03-16
Frist Center for the Visual Arts 2005-04-06 through 2005-05-25
Asheville Art Musuem 2006-01-28 through 2006-03-16
Arkansas Art Center 2006-04-06 through 2006-05-28
Joyce J. Scott: Kickin' It With the Old Masters
Baltimore Museum of Art 2000-01-10 through 2000-06
'Miniature masterpieces' on display at glass museum (2013-05-19) illustrated, p. 9a;
Glass Beads: Selections from The Corning Museum of Glass (2013) illustrated, pp. 74-75, no. 46; BIB# 134720
Shaping History: Looking at the Past and Present in Glass (2013) illustrated, p. 181, #6; BIB# 135186
Contemporary Glass Sculptures and Panels: Selections from the Corning Museum of Glass (2008) illustrated, p. 25, 136-137 (fig. 43, plate 44); BIB# 107478
The Technique of Beadwork (2003) illustrated, p. 15, # 5;
Kickin' It with the Old Masters (2000) pp. 41, 100; BIB# 64204
Recent Important Acquisitions, 40 (1998) illustrated, p. 168, #60; BIB# AI40492
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 1997 (1998) illustrated, pp. 14; 32; BIB# AI95178