Singletary Talk At RISD

(3.22) “Tlingit Hat” by glass artist Preston Singletary was commissioned by the RISD Museum and added to the collection in 2020. I noticed it immediately upon my return to the museum. Assistant curator of decorative arts and design, Emily Banas, wrote the accompanying text:

Singeltary’s blown-glass, sand-carved hats are based on Native Northwest Coast painted crest hats made from cedar bark or spruce root. Commissioned by the RISD Museum, this work combines designs from a Tlingit Chilkat robe in the museum’s collection with references to Singletary’s own Killler Whale clan.

Singletary first came to my attention on the excellent PBS series “Craft in America.” (All the “craft” featured on this show is just stunning . . . should be considered fine art as far as I’m concerned.) Preston Singletary has been featured on several segments. He started blowing glass at the Glass Eye studios in Seattle in 1982, where he grew up and continues to work and live. He developed his skills as a production glass maker and attended the Pilchuck Glass School. (See also Dale Chihuly.)

Singletary will be giving a Glass Department Visiting Artist lecture this Wednesday at 1:10pm. That timing suggests that this event is for students, but it is being held in the Metcalf Auditorium so I think a few civilians could slip in. (No admission is being charged on Wednesday to celebrate Founders Day. Win-win.) Sorry for the lateness of this event, but make a point of visiting the piece some day soon.

(Photo courtesy of the RISD Museum, Providence, RI. Photography by Russell Johnson.)

Lecture, 1:10pm, Wednesday, March 22, RISD Museum, 20 North Main Street, (directions)


Glass can be hard to photograph. My effort was not so beautiful, but I did get that face looking up from the surface below. His work is gorgeous.

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