Collections: Arts of the Americas: Guardian of the Sea

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    Guardian of the Sea

    This blown-glass sculpture has a red and black design, the two signature colors for Northwest Coast art. It represents a killer whale, one of the crest designs of the Tlingit glass-blower Preston Singletary. The surface incorporates traditional form-line designs with the black outlining the positive, primary spaces and the deeply cut red shaping the negative, secondary spaces of the whale's body. This reflects the same style of design used in traditional mediums such as totem poles, Tlingit Chilkat blankets, rattles, and other ritual paraphernalia. All such artworks reflect visual histories and designs owned by hereditary right by each Native artist.

    Singletary trained at the famous Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle with glass artists such as Lino Tagliapetra and Cicco Ongaro but credits the Isleta Pueblo glassblower Tony Jojola with inspiring him to switch from making European-style works to creating from within his own Tlingit culture. Singletary has become the leader of a rapidly developing, innovative Native American glass art movement.

    • Artist: Preston Singletary, Tlingit, Native American, born 1963
    • Medium: Glass
    • Place Made: Seattle, Washington, United States
    • Dates: 2004
    • Dimensions: 18 x 6 x 18 in. (45.7 x 15.2 x 45.7 cm)  (show scale)
    • Collections:Arts of the Americas
    • Museum Location: This item is not on view
    • Accession Number: 2004.2
    • Credit Line: Gift of Fairfield-Maxwell, Ltd., by exchange
    • Rights Statement: © Preston Singletary
    • Caption: Preston Singletary (Tlingit, Native American, born 1963). Guardian of the Sea, 2004. Glass, 18 x 6 x 18 in. (45.7 x 15.2 x 45.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Fairfield-Maxwell, Ltd., by exchange , 2004.2. © Preston Singletary
    • Image: 3/4, 2004.2_Russell_Johnson_photo_SL3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    • Catalogue Description: This sculpture of blown and sand-carved glass is red and black, the two signature colors for Northwest Coast art. It represents a killer whale, one of the crest designs of Tlingit artist Preston Singletary. It is made using traditional form-line designs with black forming the positive, primary spaces and red forming the negative, secondary spaces. The whale is arched, with flippers and tail fins down and dorsal fin up. It is in excellent condition.
    • Record Completeness: Best (83%)
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