"Fish" Goblet

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Object Name: 
"Fish" Goblet
Accession Number: 
2013.4.20 F
Overall H: 19.3 cm, W: 10.1 cm, D: 8.2 cm
Not on Display
Web Description: 
Drawing fish forms gave Frank Gehry a way to study double curves in architecture. Fish appear in Gehry’s buildings, and he has created jewelry, household items, and sculptures based on this iconic image. “Most architects avoid double curves, as I did, because we didn’t have a language for translation into a building that was viable and economical,” Gehry said. “I think the study of fish allowed me to create a kind of personal language.”* Gehry explored double curves in these goblets, where the heads of hook-shaped fish, mounted on round padlike feet, poke through the bottoms of ovoid bowls with flaring lips. Known worldwide for his highly distinctive brand of sculptural architecture, Gehry established his practice in Los Angeles in 1962. Settling near the beach in Venice, California, he frequented the company of sculptors and painters, such as Ed Kienholz, Bob Irwin, Ed Moses, and Ed Ruscha. Gehry’s deconstructed architectural style emerged in the late 1970s, when he began making collage-like compositions out of found materials. Expanding into the design of household items, Gehry marketed his first line of “Easy Edges” cardboard furniture between 1969 and 1973. Other household designs included these “Fish” goblets for Swid Powell. For two decades starting in 1982, Nan Swid and Addie Powell, the founders of Swid Powell, worked with celebrity architects and designers to create and produce a retail line of limited-edition tableware and decorative objects. Swid Powell’s “Architect’s Collection” included objects by other well-known architects and designers, including Robert Venturi, Michael Graves, and Ettore Sottsass. Signed: “SP / SwidPowell / Gehry /AP / 95[–100] / 100 /Amses Cosma,” engraved on the bases. Published: Swid Powell, The Architects’ Collection, trade catalog, New York: Swid Powell, 1990, pp. [13–14]; and Suzanne Slesin, “Architects Show How to Set a Grand Table,” New York Times, November 29, 1990, p. C6. For more information, see Annette Tapert, Swid Powell: Objects by Architects, New York: Rizzoli, 1990; and Rosemarie Haag Bletter and others, The Architecture of Frank Gehry, New York: Rizzoli, 1986, pp. 14, 77, 80, 81, 97, 101. The Swid Powell collection and records are housed in the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. * Matt Tyrnauer, “Architecture in the Age of Gehry,” Vanity Fair, no. 600, August 2010, pp. 156–167; online: www.vanityfair.com /culture/features/2010/08/architecture-survey-201008.
Amses Cosma Inc., Source
SP / Swid Powell / Gehry / AP / 100/100 / Amses Cosma
Engraved on base signature is in script
Primary Description: 
"Fish" Goblet. Colorless lead glass; Mold-pressed and blown, fused, acid-polished. Goblet with ovoid bowl with flaring lip, stem in the form of a solid hook-shaped fish with curving tail, and round pad-like foot. The head of the fish pokes through bottom of the bowl into the interior space of the goblet. Interior of bowl has matte-like finish.
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2013 (2014) illustrated, pp. 58-59 (#40);