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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Ceremonial Bronze Taking the Form of a Bird

Ceremonial Bronze Taking the Form of a Bird


Morris Graves

born Fox Valley, Oregon, 1910; died Loleta, California, 2001

Ink and transparent and opaque watercolor on gray toned paper, now faded to light brown
22 1/4 x 27 5/8 in.
Gift of Fay and Philip S. Padelford
Provenance: The artist, to [Willard Gallery, New York]; sold to Seattle Art Museum, with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Philip S. Padelford, Seattle, December, 1947
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryNew York, Willard Gallery, Morris Graves, Mar. 3-Apr. 10, 1947. Catalogue no. 10, reproduced.

Denver, Colorado, Denver Art Museum, the Modern Artist and His Worlds, March 5-April 27, 1949. No catalogue.

Denver, Colorado, Denver Art Museum, Surrealist Show, [April 27]-June 15, 1949. No catalogue.

San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Art, Trio: Paintings by Morris Graves, Mark Tobey, Kenneth Callahan [Western Association of Art Museum Directors Circuit Exhibition], 1950 (Tacoma, Washington, Tacoma Art League, 1950; Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1950; Portland, Oregon, Portland Art Museum, 1950; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, University of British Columbia, 1951; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, 1951; Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Art Center of Greater Victoria, 1951). No catalogue.

Tokyo, Japan, Bridgestone Gallery [Morris Graves] Retrospective Exhibition, June 4-July 8, 1957 {No catalogue}.

New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Morris Graves Retrospective Exhibition, organized by the Art Galleries of the University of California, Los Angeles, February 28-April 8, 1956 (Washington, D.C., The Phillips Gallery, April 15-May 7, 1956; Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, May 19-June 30, 1956; des Moines, Iowa, des Moines Art center, July 21-August 26, 1956; San Francisco, M. H. de Young Memorial Museum (no dates given); Los Angeles, California, Art Galleries of the University of California, Los Angeles, November 5-december 2, 1956; La Jolla, California, Art Center, December 10, 1956-January 15, 1957; Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, February 7-March 10, 1957). Text by John I.H. Baur, Duncan Phillips, and Frederick S. Wight. Catalogue no. 56, reproduced p. 20.

San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Art, Art in Asia and the West: An Exhibition to Illustrate Varied Aspects of Asian Traditions and their Importance for Art in the West: Honoring the 6th National Conference of the United States National Commission for UNESCO, October 28, 1957-December 1, 1957. Checklist no. 28a, p. 37, reproduced p. 28.

New York, American Federation of Arts, Crosscurrents, tour November 1958-November 1959 (New York, Time, Inc.; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Winston-Salem Public Library; Poughkeepsie, New York, Vassar College; Carbondale, Illinois, Southern Illinois University; Philadelphia, Philadelphia Art Alliance; Montevallo, Alabama, Alabama college; Monticello, New York, Monticello Rotary Club; Montclair, N.J., Montclair Art Association; Ithaca, New York, Cornell University; Charleston, Illinois, Eastern Illinois University). {No catalogue?}

Los Angeles, California, Otis Art Institute, Bird—Image and Symbol, April 25-June 2, 1963. No catalogue number, reproduced p. 6.

Saint Paul, Minnesota, Saint Paul Art Center, Paintings and Drawings by Morris Graves, October 10-November 3, 1963. Text by Nancy Wilson Ross. Catalogue no. 17.
Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University, East-West in Art: Patterns of Cultural and Aesthetic Relationships, (no dates given), 1966. Text by Theodore Bowie, et al. catalogue no. 215, p. 127, reproduced.

Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University, East-West in Art: Patterns of Cultural and Aesthetic Relationships (no dates given), 1966. Text by Theodore Bowie et al. Cat. no. 215, p. 127, reproduced

Eugene, Oregon, University of Oregon Museum of Art, Morris Graves: A Retrospective, February 8-March 13, 1966. Text by Wallis S. Baldinger, et al. Catalogue no. 79, reproduced p. 32 [color].

San Francisco, Maxwell Galleries, American Art Since 1850, (no dates given), 1968. {No catalogue?}.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Modern Art Pavilion, Seattle Center, Mark Tobey and Northwest Masters, August 8-September 5, 1971. No catalogue.

Tacoma, Washington, Tacoma Art Museum, Morris Graves, November 2-30, 1971. {No catalogue?}.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Modern Art Pavilion, Seattle Center, Tribute to Zoe Dusanne, March 24-May 8, 1977. No catalogue.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Northwest Traditions, June 29-December 10, 1978. Text by Martha Kingsbury. No catalogue number, listed p. 105, reproduced p. 32.

Boston, Institute of Contemporary Art, Northwest Visionaries: Mark Tobey, Kenneth Callahan, Morris Graves, Leo Kenney, July 7-September 6, 1981. No catalogue number, n.p., reproduced.

Osaka, Japan, National Museum of Art, Pacific Northwest Artists and Japan, October 2-November 28, 1982. Catalogue no. 33, reproduced p. 17. [color; image shows that work has faded by this point].

Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection, Morris Graves: Vision of the Inner Eye, April 9-May 29, 1983 (Greenville, South Carolina, Greenville County Museum of Art, July 1-August 28, 1983; New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, September 15-November 27, 1983; Oakland, California, The Oakland Museum, January 18-March 25, 1984; Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, April 19-July 8, 1984; San Diego, California, San Diego Museum of Art, July 24-September 4, 1984). Text by Ray Kass, et al. catalogue no. 38, reproduced [color].

Polanco, Mexico, Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Octavio Paz: Los Privilegios de la Vista, March 29-July 17, 1990.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Mark Tobey and Morris Graves, October 7, 1993-June 26, 1994. No catalogue.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Bird Sanctuary, August 17, 1995-February 11, 1996. No catalogue.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Asian Affinities, August 28, 1999-January 2, 2001. No catalogue.

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, Morris Graves and Seattle, November 1, 2001-October 20, 2002. No catalogue.

Published ReferencesPhillips, Margery E. “Painting Adds Distinction to Home Décor,” Seattle Times, November 2, 1958: p. 78.

Voorhees, John. “Tobey—and Friends—at Art Museum Pavilion,” Seattle Times, August 8, 1971: p. 31.

Henderson, Joseph L. “A Space of Consciousness—Morris Graves: Vision of the Inner Eye by Ray Kass [review],” The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal 5, no. 1 (Autumn 1984): p. 16.

Wolff, Theodore F. “Morris Graves (1910-2001),” Harvard Review, no. 21 (Fall 2001): p. 26.

Kass, Ray. "The Art of Morris Graves: Meditation on Nature," in Wulf Herzogenrath and Andreas Kreul, eds., John Cage, Mark Tobey, Morris Graves: Sounds of the Inner Eye (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, in association with the Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art, Tacoma, 2002), p. 43, reproduced p. 44, figure 5.

Kangas, Matthew. “Michael Peterson: Evolution/Revolution,” in Michael Peterson: Evolution/Revolution (Bellevue, Washington: Bellevue Arts Museum, 2009), pp. 14-15, reproduced p. 15.

Shoemaker, Innis Howe. Adventures in Modern Art: The Charles K. Williams II Collection (Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2009), p. 158, reproduced.

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.