Helen Shirk 1984 Signed “On the Edge - Boundary” Sculptural Vessel


A copper and brass Postmodern vessel by notable American metalsmith Helen Shirk (born 1942). This 1984 work titled On the Edge - Boundary makes use of techniques such as gold leafing and soldering to create a thoroughly postmodern composition. The shapes appear as if they have been allowed to fall at random, though they are intentionally placed. The unexpected golden interior shines with an inviting warmth and complements the brushed teal color of the square. The work is signed and dated to the underside.

Helen Shirk is Professor of Art Emerita at San Diego State University. She studied at Skidmore College (BA, 1963) and received her MFA from Indiana University in 1969. After earning her BA, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and studied with Otto Hertz in Denmark. While at Indiana University, Professor Alma Eikerman insisted that Shirk become proficient in producing three dimensional works alongside two dimensional jewelry. Shirk's subsequent sculptural vessels marked a notable shift toward her current mode of making which has earned her a place among the country's renowned metal artists. Shirk is the first woman that the Metal Museum has honored with the title Master Metalsmith. Helen Shirk's works are held in collections such as The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia; The Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C; Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, NY; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England; the Museum of Art and Design in New York, NY; the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Memphis, TN; the Indianapolis Museum of Art in Indianapolis, IN; the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, PA; the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA; and the Minnesota Museum of Art in St. Paul, MN.



21” x 20.5” x 8.75”. 

Condition notes:

Overall age appropriate condition with minor scuffs, scratches and marks. Patina present.

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