Dale Chihuly

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Dale Chihuly
Chihuly in 1992
Dale Patrick Chihuly

(1941-09-20) September 20, 1941 (age 77)
Known for Glass artist
Leslie Jackson(m. 2005)

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

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Glass art large works of art which are substantially or wholly made of glass

Glass art refers to individual works of art that are substantially or wholly made of glass. It ranges in size from monumental works and installation pieces, to wall hangings and windows, to works of art made in studios and factories, including glass jewelry and tableware.

Glassblowing glassforming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble, with the aid of a blowpipe

Glassblowing is a glassforming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble with the aid of a blowpipe. A person who blows glass is called a glassblower, glassmith, or gaffer. A lampworker manipulates glass with the use of a torch on a smaller scale, such as in producing precision laboratory glassware out of borosilicate glass.


Early life

Dale Patrick Chihuly was born on September 20, 1941, in Tacoma, Washington. [3] His parents were George and Viola Chihuly. [3] In 1956, his older brother and only sibling, George, died in a Navy aviation training accident in Pensacola, Florida. [4] Two years later, in 1958, Chihuly's father died of a heart attack at the age of 52. [5] [ not in citation given ]

Tacoma, Washington City in Washington, United States

Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is on Washington's Puget Sound, 32 miles (51 km) southwest of Seattle, 31 miles (50 km) northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and 58 miles (93 km) northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The population was 198,397, according to the 2010 census. Tacoma is the second-largest city in the Puget Sound area and the third largest in the state. Tacoma also serves as the center of business activity for the South Sound region, which has a population of around 1 million.

United States Navy Naval warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Navy (USN) is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U.S. allies or partner nations. with the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, and two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches. It has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force.

Pensacola, Florida City in Florida, United States

Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle, approximately 13 miles (21 km) from the border with Alabama, and the county seat of Escambia County, in the U.S. state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 51,923, down from 56,255 at the 2000 census. Pensacola is the principal city of the Pensacola metropolitan area, which had an estimated 494,883 residents in 2018.

Chihuly had no interest in continuing his formal education after graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1959. However, at his mother's urging, he enrolled at the College of Puget Sound. [5] [ not in citation given ] A year later, he transferred to the University of Washington in Seattle to study interior design. In 1961, he joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Kappa Epsilon chapter), and the same year he learned how to melt and fuse glass. [4] Chihuly became bored with his studies, and in 1962 he dropped out of the university to study art in Florence. He later traveled to the Middle East where he met architect Robert Landsman. Their meeting and his time abroad spurred Chihuly to return to his studies. In 1963, he took a weaving class where he incorporated glass shards into tapestries. He received an award for his work from the Seattle Weavers Guild in 1964. [4] Chihuly graduated from the University of Washington in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in interior design. [1]

Woodrow Wilson High School is a four-year public secondary school in Tacoma, Washington. It is one of five traditional high schools in the Tacoma Public School System and is located at the intersection of Orchard Street and 11th Street. Wilson's current principal is Dan Besett; assistant principals are Shane Silva and Bernadette Ray.

University of Puget Sound University in the US state of Washington

The University of Puget Sound is a private liberal arts college in Tacoma, Washington. Puget Sound offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, Master of Occupational Therapy, and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees. The college draws approximately 2,600 students from 44 states and 16 countries. It offers 1,200 courses each year in more than 50 traditional and interdisciplinary areas of study.

Chihuly began experimenting with glassblowing in 1965, and in 1966 he received a full scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin–Madison. [4] He studied under Harvey Littleton, who had established the first glass program in the United States at the university. In 1967, Chihuly received a Master of Science degree in sculpture. After graduating, he enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he met and became close friends with Italo Scanga. Chihuly earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the RISD in 1968. That same year, he was awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation grant for his work in glass, as well as a Fulbright Fellowship. [4] He traveled to Venice to work at the Venini factory on the island of Murano, where he first saw the team approach to blowing glass. [6] After returning to the United States, Chihuly spent the first of four consecutive summers teaching at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine. In 1969, he traveled to Europe, in part to meet Erwin Eisch in Germany and Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová in Czechoslovakia. [4] Chihuly donated a portion of a large exhibit to his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin, in 1997 and it is on permanent in the Kohl Center. In 2013 the University awarded him a Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts.

University of Wisconsin–Madison Public university in Wisconsin, USA

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university in Madison, Wisconsin. Founded when Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848, UW–Madison is the official state university of Wisconsin, and the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It was the first public university established in Wisconsin and remains the oldest and largest public university in the state. It became a land-grant institution in 1866. The 933-acre (378 ha) main campus, located on the shores of Lake Mendota, includes four National Historic Landmarks. The University also owns and operates a historic 1,200-acre (486 ha) arboretum established in 1932, located 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the main campus.

Harvey Littleton Artist, educator

Harvey Littleton was an American glass artist and educator. Born in Corning, New York, he grew up in the shadow of Corning Glass Works, where his father headed Research and Development during the 1930s. Expected by his father to enter the field of physics, Littleton instead chose a career in art, gaining recognition first as a ceramist and later as a glassblower and sculptor in glass. In the latter capacity he was very influential, organizing the first glassblowing seminar aimed at the studio artist in 1962, on the grounds of the Toledo Museum of Art. Imbued with the prevailing view at the time that glassblowing could only be done on the factory floor, separated from the designer at his desk, Littleton aimed to put it within the reach of the individual studio artist.

Master of Science masters degree awarded for post-graduate study in the sciences, or occasionally social sciences

A Master of Science is a master's degree in the field of science awarded by universities in many countries or a person holding such a degree. In contrast to the Master of Arts degree, the Master of Science degree is typically granted for studies in sciences, engineering and medicine and is usually for programs that are more focused on scientific and mathematical subjects; however, different universities have different conventions and may also offer the degree for fields typically considered within the humanities and social sciences. While it ultimately depends upon the specific program, earning a Master of Science degree typically includes writing a thesis.


Chihuly at Kew Gardens Chihuly at Kew Gardens 043.jpg
Chihuly at Kew Gardens

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.

Pilchuck Glass School is an international center for glass art education. The school was founded in 1971 by Dale Chihuly, Anne Gould Hauberg (1917-2016) and John H. Hauberg (1916-2002). The campus is located on a former tree farm in Stanwood, Washington, United States and the administrative offices are located in Seattle. The name "Pilchuck" comes from the local Native American language and translates to "red water". Pilchuck offers one-, two- and three-week resident classes each summer in a broad spectrum of glass techniques as well as residencies for emerging and established artists working in all media.

Stanwood, Washington City in Washington, United States

Stanwood is a city in Snohomish County, Washington, United States. The city is located 50 miles (80 km) north of Seattle, at the mouth of the Stillaguamish River near Camano Island. As of the 2010 census, its population is 6,231.

Jason Lee Middle School, formerly known as West Intermediate School, was the first and largest of six intermediate schools funded in 1923. It was created on the former campus of the College of Puget Sound at 6th Avenue and North Sprague Avenue in Tacoma, Washington by architect Roland E. Borhek. The school was named after the notable missionary and pioneer Jason Lee. Jason Lee has about 39 teachers educating around 500 students.

In 1976, while Chihuly was in England, he was involved in a head-on car accident during which he was propelled through the windshield. [7] 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 1979 while bodysurfing. 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 earlier. 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 very successful entrepreneur Chihuly, whose estimated sales by 2004 was reported by The Seattle Times as $29 million." [8] 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. [9]

<i>The Seattle Times</i> newspaper

The Seattle Times is a daily newspaper serving Seattle, Washington, United States. It has the largest circulation of any newspaper in the state of Washington and in the Pacific Northwest region.

Documentary film nonfictional motion picture

A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record. "Documentary" has been described as a "filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, and mode of audience reception" that is continually evolving and is without clear boundaries. Documentary films were originally called 'actuality' films and were only a minute or less in length. Over time documentaries have evolved to be longer in length and to include more categories, such as educational, observational, and even 'docufiction'. Documentaries are also educational and often used in schools to teach various principles. Social media platforms such as YouTube, have allowed documentary films to improve the ways the films are distributed and able to educate and broaden the reach of people who receive the information.

American Public Television syndicator of programming for public television stations in the United States

American Public Television (APT) is the largest syndicator of programming for public television stations in the United States. APT continues to distribute a wide variety of public television programs nationally, as well as the Create and World public TV multicast channels.

Chihuly Garden and Glass Chihuly Garden and Glass (Seattle).jpg
Chihuly Garden and Glass

2006 lawsuit

In 2006, Chihuly filed a lawsuit against his former longtime employee, glassblower Bryan Rubino, and businessman Robert Kaindl, claiming copyright and trademark infringement. Kaindl's pieces used titles Chihuly had employed for his own works, such as Seaforms and Ikebana, and resembled the construction of Chihuly's pieces. Arguments made by legal experts stated that influence on art style does not constitute copyright infringement. [10] [11] Chihuly settled the lawsuit with Rubino initially, [12] and later with Kaindl as well. [13]


Chihuly's The Sun was on temporary display until January 2006 at Kew Gardens Glass.sculpture.kewgardens.london.arp.jpg
Chihuly's The Sun was on temporary display until January 2006 at Kew Gardens
Yellow Chandelier at the Tower of David Museum 1999-2000 Chihuly P8040009.JPG
Yellow Chandelier at the Tower of David Museum 1999–2000

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

For his exhibition in Jerusalem, Israel 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. [16] This exhibit holds the world record for most visitors to a temporary exhibit with more than 1.3 million visitors. [17]


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, [18] the other at the MGM Grand Casino in Macau. [19] 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. [20] [21] 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. [22] Called Chihuly Garden and Glass, it opened May 21, 2012. [23] [24]


Permanent collections

Chihuly's art appears in permanent collections all over the world, including in the United States (The Chihuly Collection housed in its own building on Central Ave in St Petersburg, Florida), Canada, England, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait.

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Further reading