Architectural Wood Carving: Pipe Organs

Though she has worked with a number of organ builders, Morgan's association with C.B. Fisk, Inc. has spanned 40 years. Fisk organs are known for harmonizing visually as well as tonally with with the architecture and acoustics of their resident spaces. Similarly, Morgan's designs are carefully developed to enhance a wide variety of cases. Morgan's patron and mentor, the late Charles Fisk, preeminent American pipe organ builder, insisted that sculpture for the facades of his instruments be original works of art, not simply ornamentation.  This principle has guided her in her work on pipe organ cases and her designs in other architectural contexts.  Her sculpture brings human scale and interest to the monumental.  Her designs give a place for the eye and the imagination to engage.  Her concepts for organ facades allude to the mystery of music.  Their vitality is part of a larger context. At Trinity College for example, the patron wanted portrait heads on the new organ case. Drawing from an early 16th century French organ, Morgan made two life size portraits in profile on the doors above the keyboards. The decorative designs subtly personify the huge instrument while faithfully portraying the distinguished honorees. In another work, the  Indiana  University Organ case, the Caryatid and Atlas figures had to appear to support the tower of organ pipes. Morgan worked this out with careful drawings and precise clay studies before she carved the 400-pound blocks of wood. 


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