Burke Museum Home

Press Release

Detailed information on the exhibits, research projects, and programs tailored for journalists. For more information or questions please contact Burke Museum Public Relations.

November 05, 2008

Preston Singletary to Create Glass Killer Whale for Burke Museum at Museum of Glass

Sat., Nov. 22 , 2008 10 am - 5 pm
Sun., Nov. 23, 2008, noon - 5 pm

Seattle / Tacoma, Wash. In a first-ever partnership, the Museum of Glass and Seattle’s Burke Museum will collaborate with Northwest glass artist, Preston Singletary as he creates a work of art in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop on Sat., Nov. 22 and Sun., Nov. 23, 2008.As a Visiting Artist at the Museum of Glass from Nov. 19 – 23, Singletary will dedicate the final two days of his residency to a special project commissioned by a donor of the Burke Museum, in Seattle.

For this project, Singletary will interpret into glass the Howkan Whale Monument, located directly in front of the Burke Museum. Once completed, Singletary’s glass version will become part of the Burke Museum’s permanent collection of contemporary Northwest Coast Native art.

The original Howkan Whale Monument was carved by John Wallace around 1880 for Moses Koohl-Keet, who commissioned it as a memorial to his uncle, head of Brown Bear House, in Howkan, Alaska. A wood replica of this monument was carved by Curator Emeritus Bill Holm in 1985, based on old photographs of the Howkan Whale Monument, and on the original whale fin, which is housed in the Burke Museum’s ethnology collection. Holm’s replica still stands at the entrance to the Burke Museum. During the first three days of his Visiting Artist residency, Singletary will experiment with new designs.

Singletary’s new version of the Howkan Whale will be placed on display at the Burke Museum sometime in 2009. A solo exhibition organized by the Museum of Glass, Preston Singletary: Echoes, Fire and Shadows, will open at the Museum next July before traveling to venues around the country.


About the Artist

Seattle native Preston Singletary is recognized internationally for his work, which combines two of the Northwest’s most prominent artistic influences—traditional Native American designs and glass.For nearly two decades, he has melded the patterns, symbols and legends of his Tlingit heritage with the dynamism of the Studio Glass movement, creating a distinctive and powerful body of work.

About the Visiting Artist Program

The Museum of Glass Hot Shop Visiting Artist Program hosts internationally known artists and emerging artists from the region and around the world—some who are masters of glass and some who are experimenting with the medium for the first time.They work with the Museum’s resident Hot Shop team to explore, invent and create with glass. With a diverse mixture of culture, style, focus and expertise, each artist offers Museum visitors the chance to experience a distinct creative style.

About the Museum of Glass

The Museum of Glass provides a dynamic learning environment to appreciate the medium of glass through creative experiences, collections and exhibitions.In addition to the Hot Shop Amphitheater where visitors can watch artists work, the facilities include galleries, outdoor exhibition areas, a theater, studio, grand hall, store and cafe.

The Museum of Glass is sponsored in part by the City of Tacoma Arts Commission, the Washington State Arts Commission, ArtsFund and Comcast.The Visiting Artist Program at the Museum of Glass is sponsored by Courtyard by Marriott / Tacoma.


(206) 543-9762; FAX (206) 616-1274