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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Craft: Glass: Inventing the Music of Beauty
Inventing the Music of Beauty

Inventing the Music of Beauty
Ginny Ruffner
glass, oil paint, colored pencil, and ink
10 1/2 x 21 5/8 x 13 1/4 in. (26.7 x 55.0 x 33.7 cm.)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Ann and Thomas Cousins, the James Renwick Alliance, and museum purchase through the Smithsonian Institution Collections

“I’ve learned about the way color is modulated by light and how form is defined by light, [how] shapes only exist because light enables us to perceive them.” Ginny Ruffner, 1998

Ginny Ruffner believes music is very visual, and sees a conductor of an orchestra as the very embodiment of the way music moves and flows. The figure in this piece, copied from Michelangelo’s Libyan Sibyl in the Sistine Chapel, has a posture similar to that of a conductor, and the flowing lines in the background create an abstract music stave.

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