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Night Image #1

Thomas Stearns, American, 1936 - 2006

Made in United States, North and Central America


Silk, linen, cactus fiber, wool, metal thread, lacquered and gilded pine

6 feet 6 inches × 10 inches × 10 inches (198.1 × 25.4 × 25.4 cm)

Research inconclusive. Copyright may apply.

Curatorial Department:
American Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Miani Johnson in memory of her mother, Marian Willard Johnson, 1992

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Stearns created Night Image #1 at a time when fiber was being discovered by artists nationwide as a medium for sculpture as opposed to a material used in commercial and industrial products. Like many painters of the period, his intention was to not only express strong emotions in his art but to elicit those feelings through the use of color, form, and texture.

Prototypes for Constructions, a body of work that includes this sculpture, began in 1960–62 in Venice, where Stearns maintained a studio in his home to work on fiber assemblages. Evocative of the city at twilight with striations of color and shadow and references to reflection and abstraction, Night Image #1 can be tied to Stearns’s reaction when he arrived in Italy in November 1960: “My first night in Venice decided for me that whatever work I was to do . . . would be a tribute to the magic and mystery of Venice.”