In a 1957 speech Marcel Duchamp said,
Millions of artists create, only a few thousand are discussed or accepted by the spectator and many less again are consecrated by posterity.
William Morris will surely be among the concecrated.
-Jane Alden, Department of Twentieth Century Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
For more than twenty-five years, in a career that brought him to the forefront of the modern Studio Glass movement, William Morris perfected a repertoire of techniques that virtually no other American glass artist can equal. Internationally acclaimed for his compelling work with glass, William Morris approached the demands of glassblowing and glass sculpting with an experimental eye and an innovative hand. For Morris, glass is an endlessly intriguing material, fragile yet timeless, preserving the spontaneity of the creative moment unlike any other medium. William Morris artworks in glass are widely admired by artists, sought by collectors, and praised by critics.
He’s simply the best glass blower that America has produced. He has been able to inject content into the ravishing beauty of glass, yet he has in no way compromised the aesthetic pleasures of glass. He has brought an existential depth to glass that is entirely new.
Associate Art Director at the Seattle Art Museum
In looking at Morris’s art, we are reminded of what it is to be ancient, what it is to be human; we momentarily reconnect with that elemental aspect of our psyches this is prehistoric. Beyond his technical brilliance in the craft of blowing and sculpting glass, it is Morris’s ability to enter and work within the realm of the unconscious that makes him a superior artist.
Curator of Modern Glass, The Corning Museum of Glass
William Morris, even after his retirement in 2007, has a special place in the history of modern sculpture in glass. His anthropological empathy, his respect for communal ancestors and civilizations long past, and his uncanny ability to make glass look like everything except, well, glass, certainly created a profound body of work that continues to fascinate audiences.
Adjunct Professor, School of the Art Institute of Chicago