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Photo Credit: David Dietrich


Vase with Family Portrait

20th century
Medium & Support
Blown glass with murrini
Blown and polished
Overall: 4 5/8 x 5 1/8 x 5 1/8 in.
Studio Glass
Object Type
Credit Line
Museum purchase with funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts
Accession Number
In Copyright
© Richard Ritter

Gray, blue, red and white glass vase with millefiore, including image of the artist's family.

Label History

Murrinis, or slices of detailed fused glass canes, have been a consistent part of Ritter’s artistic studio glass output. First seen in the Middle East around 2000 BCE, this glassmaking technique was revived in Murano, Italy, in the 16th century. Ritter began working with it in the late 1960s. In 1971 he enrolled in Penland School of Craft for a summer session led by Mark Peiser. There, he was introduced to Richard Marquis, who had recently studied glassblowing in Murano and helped him improve his murrini-making skills. By 1972 Ritter moved from the Detroit area to Penland to teach and work as a resident artist until 1977, when he opened his own studio in the area. During this time, he made the family portrait murrini (as seen in the work above) of a father, mother, and daughter. Mountain Floral (left) is more recent and part of Ritter’s Mandala series, which suspends elaborate floral murrinis in a translucent glass form

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2021
Type: Catalogue Entry
Written by: Whitney Richardson

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