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Oral history interview with Preston Singletary, 2011 March 23-24

Singletary, Preston, 1963-

Glass artist


Collection Information

Size: 8 Items, Sound recording: 8 sound files (3 hr., 48 min.), digital, wav; 55 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 3 memory cards as 8 digital sound files. Duration is 3 hr., 48 min.

Summary: An interview of Preston Singletary conducted 2011 March 23-24, by Mary Savig, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Singletary's studio, in Seattle, Washington.
Singletary speaks of his family background, especially his Tlingit heritage and his grandmother; his early interest in music; his job at the Glass Eye Studio in Seattle; his formative years as a glass blower in Seattle and at Pilchuck Glass School; his early styles and processes in the modern Venetian tradition; his interest in Tlingit motifs; early mentors including David Svenson, Joe David, and Tony Jojola; collaboration in the studio with other glass artists and other native artists who work with various media; his interest in the modernist primitivist art movement; the character of significant exhibitions and commissions; his collaborative project with David Svenson and native Alaskans on the Pilchuck Founders' Totem; how he met his wife in Sweden; descriptions of his processes and techniques, including lighting techniques; his retrospective at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma and the Smithsonian's Gustave Heye Center in New York; current and future directions of his work; the character of his studio, including the contributions of his assistants; collaborations with other native artists including Tammy Garcia, Joe Feddersen, and Maori jade carver Lewis Gardiner; his interest in Jungian psychology and shamanism; his relationship with critics, collectors, and dealers; and his involvement with native communities. Singletary also recalls Dante Marioni, Paul Marioni, Benjamin Moore, Lino Tagliapietra, Dale Chihuly, Dan Dailey, Stanislav Libensky, Napoleone Martinuzzi, David Svenson, Keke Cribbs, Joe David, Tony Jojola, John Hauberg, Richard Royal, Tammy Garcia, Joe Feddersen, Brian Jungen, and James Luna.

Biographical/Historical Note

Preston Singletary (1963- ) is a glass artist in Seattle, Washington.


This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

Language Note

English .


Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.

How to Use This Collection

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Preston Singletary, 2011 March 23-24. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.