Repose in Amber - 2018

“Repose in Amber” was re-installed in the Fort Wayne Museum of Art during the last week of November, 2018. The following images are a collection of shots taken during the installation process. Restoration of this particular piece involved a variety of cleaning / refinishing techniques. Thanks to the help of the museum staff, rapid progress was made; resulting in providing this outstanding piece with a wonderful new home.


This sculpture embodies the mirroring principle in my work: the way two juxtaposed objects relate to one another. When walking around “Repose in Amber,” the eye moves and flows through each object, with the negative space becoming as potent and as important as the glass elements.

The viewer can look closely at one cubic inch and find something intriguing, like the veils created from crushed glass floating inside each element, or the way the grains of color are stretched and pulled by the heat. The air bubbles captured inside are like insects in amber, trapped for eternity.

I’ve expressed the continuity between the landscape and the human in “Repose in Amber.” My work revolves around trying to reconnect with our natural source – drawing on humanistic and naturalistic qualities, and honoring their connection.

For me, great visual art is like music. All you have to do is feel it. I believe it can connect you back to the source of a simple being.

- Martin Blank


One of the largest hot-sculpted landscapes in the world, Repose in Amber is comprised of 40 glass elements that were hand-sculpted on the end of a blowpipe by the artist and his team of eight using 200 pounds of glass at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. No molds were used.

Repose in Amber reveals a single red glass element contained within the artwork which pays homage to the aspect of Japanese perspective which holds that in a field of green moss, one fallen red leaf is sublime. Throughout the landscape there are intentional hidden objects intended to draw your eye in from the field of color and evoke notions of surprise and wonder.

Years in the making, Repose in Amber was commissioned by real estate developer and art philanthropist Mike Kurzman for Chicago’s 120 South LaSalle Building, and was included on Chicago’s Public Art and Architecture Tour.

As of November 28, 2018, Repose in Amber now resides in the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s permanent collection; presented in the Karl S. and Ella L. Bolander Gallery. Among the museum’s growing collection of glass art, this is the largest installation to date.

Martin Blank is pictured with Charles & Amanda Shepard; CEO & COO of the FWMoA.

Photography by Jason Swisher.