Canopic Jar: Javan Muntjac
Date 1995
Artist:William Morris, American, b. 1957
Dimensions Overall: 39 x 14 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. (99.1 x 36.8 x 24.1 cm)
Medium Blown glass with hot applications
Credit Line Gift of the Mowbray Arch Society, 1995
Description This is a green blown glass sculpture of a Javan Muntjac head as a lid and a canopic-jar body.
Exhibition History"Treasures for the Community: The Chrysler Collects, 1989-1996," October 25, 1996 - February 16, 1997
Published ReferencesJeff Harrison, _Collecting with Vision: Treasures From the Chrysler Museum of Art_ (London: D. Giles Ltd., 2007), 148, fig. 188. ISBN: 978-0-940744-72-1
Object Label William Morris American (b. 1957) Canopic Jar: Javan Muntjac, 1995 Blown glass with hot applications Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA Gift of the Mowbray Arch Society 95.41 William Morris' Canopic Jar sculptures were inspired by the ancient Egyptian mortuary practice of embalming in a set of jars the human organs that could not be preserved as part of a mummy. The ancient jars were small (usually less than ten inches high) and the heads on their lids represented the Egyptian deity who was guardian of the particular organ that the jar contained. Morris works in a far grander scale and portrays animals of his choice. Most of his first canopic jars depicted animals native to North America, such as the coyote, panther and elk, but more recently he has looked to the exotic fauna of Africa, Asia and the East Indies. Morris' hauntingly beautiful Javan Muntjac is a small deer native to the island of Java. Virtuoso Glassblowing Richly colored and textured to suggest patinated bronze and horn, this complex post-modern sculpture is the product of virtuoso glassblowing. The artist used neither molds to shape it, nor paint to color it. All of the work was accomplished hot at the furnace. He began with colorless glass - the antlers are translucent because the glass inside them is colorless - and then gradually introduced layers of color on the outer surface by rolling the elements of the sculpture in colored glass chips and powdered glass, or by sprinkling them with powdered glass. The surface cracks, which give the appearance of age in the body of the jar, were introduced by dipping the red-hot glass in water and then reheating it. The head, which merely rests on top of the jar, was made by building, pinching and pulling gathers of solid glass into shape with an opened bubble forming its neck. William Morris went to the Pilchuck Glass School to learn glassblowing at age 18. He soon became an instructor at the school and then served as the principal gaffer for glass artist Dale Chihuly. Morris' own work in the mid-1980s was confined largely to vessel forms. At first he looked to rocks and minerals, but soon the vessels were decorated with "petroglyphs." In the late 1980s he went to Italy to study solid work with Venetian masters and soon was producing sculptures that incorporated bones, horn and artifacts - all made of glass. Morris has since created large-scale installations for both the Renwick Gallery and the American Craft Museum. The art critic Matthew Kangas has aptly dubbed his work "paleoglass." Morris began his Canopic Jar series in 1992. The series has proved so successful and is so sought after that without the purchase vote of the Mowbray Arch Society in 1995, the Museum could not have acquired this sculpture. Edited By: GLY
Object Number 95.41