University Museums

Title: Pear
Name: Sculpture
Date: 1992
Medium: Blown Glass
Dimensions: 23 1/2 x 14 x 14 in. (59.7 x 35.6 x 35.6 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Purchased with funds from Ruth Swenson. In the permanent collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.
Object Number: UM93.24
More Information
Joey Kirkpatrick is a native-born Iowan who began blowing glass while conducting summer graduate work at Iowa State during 1978 and 1979. She met Flora Mace at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, in 1979, and the two formed an artistic alliance. They first produced art together around 1980, when as graduate students, they attached Kirkpatrick's quirky figurative drawings, re-sketched in wire, onto Mace's clear glass vessels. The pair also incorporated wood into their sculptural work, many times ornamented with glass. This endeavor eventually grew into tree forms adorned with different fruits and vegetables. Amplifying these ideas, Kirkpatrick and Mace then created massive floor-scaled sculpture symbolic of harvest and nature. However, the artists strive to make the fruit, although oversized, as realistic as possible. The surface of this giant pear was lightly sprayed with glass dust to reduce any unnatural light reflection.

Kirkpatrick and Mace have been central figures in the evolution of the Pilchuck Glass School as students, teachers and technicians, working regularly with renowned glass artist, Dale Chihuly. They are now part of the third generation of American artists using glass as a fine arts medium. Their work is included in collections and museums around the world including the Corning Museum of Glass in New York; The Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.