Dale Chihuly (b. 1941) is an American artist whose medium is glass. I first encountered his work in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, where I saw this spectacular 30 foot high chandelier hanging from the ceiling in the main entrance:
After studying interior design at the University of Washington and art at the University of Wisconsin and the Rhode Island School of Design, Chihuly received a Fulbright Fellowship to study glass blowing in Venice. Upon his return to the States, he helped found the Pilchuk Glass School in Washington State.
After a car accident caused him to become blind in one eye and a bodysurfing injury left him unable to hold a glass blowing pipe, he began working collaboratively with a team of artists who help him create the elaborate installations for which he is known.
We went to see the Chihuly exhibit, which is in its final week at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia.
“Fiori and Float Boats” features two wooden rowboats filled with glass, beautifully displayed on a reflective black surface.
The stunning Persian Ceiling is lit from above. The glass elements rest on a flat glass pane:
And another view:
In this series, Chihuly’s mission was to use as many colors as possible:
And finally: “Laguna Torcello,” Chihuly’s “homage to Venice.” This is one in a series of “Mille Fiori” (thousand flowers) glass garden installations, and the largest platform installation he’s ever assembled:
Check out the Chihuly app for the iPhone, which allows you to have the experience of “blowing glass”: