Dale Chihuly

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Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly 2009.jpg
Chihuly in 2009
BornDale Patrick Chihuly
(1941-09-20) September 20, 1941 (age 73)
Tacoma, Washington
EducationUniversity of Washington, Seattle, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Rhode Island School of Design.
Known forGlass artist
Spouse(s)Leslie Jackson (2005–current)[1]
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Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly 2009.jpg
Chihuly in 2009
BornDale Patrick Chihuly
(1941-09-20) September 20, 1941 (age 73)
Tacoma, Washington
EducationUniversity of Washington, Seattle, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Rhode Island School of Design.
Known forGlass artist
Spouse(s)Leslie Jackson (2005–current)[1]

Dale Chihuly (born September 20, 1941), is an American glass sculptor and entrepreneur. His works are considered unique to the field of blown glass, "moving it into the realm of large-scale sculpture," (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). The technical difficulties of working with glass forms are considerable, yet Chihuly uses it as the primary medium for installations and environmental artwork.[2]

Early life[edit]

Chihuly was born in Tacoma, Washington, to to George and Viola Magnuson Chihuly.[3] At first Chihuly had no interest in continuing his formal education after graduating from high school in 1959. His only brother, George, had died in an accident in 1957, and his father died of a heart attack the next year at the age of 51.[3]

However, at his mother's urging, after he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, he enrolled at the College of the Puget Sound in 1959.[3] A year later, he transferred to the University of Washington in Seattle, where in 1965 he received a bachelor of arts degree in interior design.[1] While at the University of Washington, he was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Kappa Epsilon chapter).[4]

In the year 1967, he received a Master of Science in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he studied under Harvey Littleton. In 1968, he studied glass in Venice on a Fulbright Fellowship and received a Master of Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design.


In 1971, with the support of John Hauberg and Anne Gould Hauberg, Chihuly cofounded the Pilchuck Glass School near Stanwood, Washington. Chihuly also founded the HillTop Artists program in Tacoma, Washington at Jason Lee Middle School and Wilson High School.

In 1976, while Chihuly was in England, he was involved in a head-on car accident during which he flew through the windshield.[5] His face was severely cut by glass and he was blinded in his left eye. After recovering, he continued to blow glass until he dislocated his right shoulder in a 1979 bodysurfing accident. No longer able to hold the glass blowing pipe, he hired others to do the work. Chihuly explained the change in a 2006 interview, saying "Once I stepped back, I liked the view" and pointed out that it allowed him to see the work from more perspectives and enabled him to anticipate problems faster. Chihuly describes his role as "more choreographer than dancer, more supervisor than participant, more director than actor." San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Erin Glass wrote that she "wonders at the vision of not just the artist Chihuly, but the wildly successful entrepreneur Chihuly, whose estimated sales by 2004 was reported by The Seattle Times as $29 million."[6] Chihuly and his team of artists were the subjects of the documentary Chihuly Over Venice. They were also featured in the documentary Chihuly in the Hotshop, syndicated to public television stations by American Public Television starting on November 1, 2008.[7]

About his work[edit]

Regina Hackett, as the Seattle Post-Intelligencer art critic, provided a chronology of his work during the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s:

For his exhibition in Jerusalem in 2000, in addition to the glass pieces, he had enormous blocks of transparent ice brought in from an Alaskan artesian well and formed a wall, echoing the stones of the nearby Citadel. Lights with color gels were set up behind them for illumination. Chihuly said the melting wall represented the "dissolution of barriers" between people.[10]


Yellow Chandelier at the Tower of David Museum 1999–2000

Chihuly's largest permanent exhibit can be found at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Chihuly maintains two retail stores in partnership with MGM Resorts International. One is located at the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip,[11] from the Bellagio hotel/casino website the other at the MGM Grand Casino in Macau.[12] A number of other galleries also carry his pieces. He also has a gallery in Las Vegas in the Crystals in the Las Vegas City Center in Gallery Row. In 1983 Chihuly returned to his native Pacific Northwest where he continued to develop his own work at the Pilchuck Glass School, which he had helped to found in 1971. Throughout the 1970s, influenced by the great glassblowing tradition of Murano, Chihuly experimented with the team approach to glassblowing. Working with a team of master glassblowers and assistants has enabled him to produce architectural glass art of a scale and quantity unimaginable working alone or with only one assistant. In 2010 the Space Needle Corporation submitted a proposal for an exhibition of Chihuly's work at a site in the Seattle Center, in competition with proposals for other uses from several other groups.[13][14] The project, which sees the new Chihuly exhibition hall occupy the site of the former Fun Forest amusement park in the Seattle Center park and entertainment complex, received the final green light from the Seattle City Council on April 25, 2011.[15] Called Chihuly Garden and Glass, it opened May 21, 2012.[16][17]

2006 lawsuit[edit]

In 2006, Chihuly filed a lawsuit against his former longtime employee, glassblower Bryan Rubino, and businessman Robert Kaindl, under accusations of copyright and trademark infringement. Kaindl's pieces used titles Chihuly used for his own works, such as Seaforms and Ikebana, and resembled the construction of Chihuly's pieces. Arguments made by legal experts stated influence on art style is not copyright infringement.[18][19] Chihuly settled the lawsuit independently with Rubino initially,[20] and later Kaindl as well.[21]

Permanent collections[edit]

United States[edit]

In 2000, Chihuly's commission from the Victoria and Albert Museum for a 30-foot-high (9.1 m), blown-glass chandelier dominates the museum's main entrance.
Chihuly's The Sun was on temporary display until January 2006 at Kew Gardens, London, England. The piece is 13 feet (4 m) high.
Dale Chihuly glass art at the exhibition of his work in Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in 2005.
Olympic Tower at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, Utah.




United Arab Emirates[edit]




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  2. ^ Chihuly: Through the looking glass. Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Accessed April 20213.<http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/chihuly>
  3. ^ a b c [Article by David O. Williams [http//:www.dianefarrisgallery.com]
  4. ^ Dale Chihuly - Chronology, from Chihuly's personal website
  5. ^ Glass Houses: Dale Chihuly Files a Lawsuit That Raises Big Questions... About Dale Chihuly, The Stranger, February 2006
  6. ^ ‘Chihuly’ a site-specific explosion of art at Salk, by Erin Glass, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 April 2010
  7. ^ Chihuly Over Venice, from Chihuly's Portland Press website
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  13. ^ Heffter, Emily (10 June 2010), Chihuly glass museum proposed at Seattle Center where Fun Forest stood, Seattle Times 
  14. ^ Heffter, Emily (10 June 2010), In a second attempt to sell the city and the public on a Dale Chihuly glass exhibit at Seattle Center, Seattle Times 
  15. ^ Davis, Ben (28 April 2011). "Divisive Dale Chihuly Glass-Art 'Museum' Approved for Former Seattle Amusement Park". ArtInfo. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
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External links[edit]