Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly

Chihuly in 2009
Born Dale Patrick Chihuly
(1941-09-20) September 20, 1941
Tacoma, Washington
Nationality American
Education University of Washington, Seattle, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Rhode Island School of Design.
Known for Glass 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".[2] The technical difficulties of working with glass forms are considerable, yet Chihuly uses it as the primary medium for installations and environmental artwork

Early life

Chihuly was born in Tacoma, Washington, to George and Viola Magnuson Chihuly.[3] In 1956, his older brother and only sibling, George, died in a Navy Air Force training accident in Pensacola, Florida.[4] Two years later, in 1957, Chihuly's father died of a heart attack at the age of 52.[3]

Initially, 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.[3] 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). That same year he learned how to melt and fuse glass.[4] Chihuly became disillusioned with his studies, and in 1962 he dropped out of school to study art in Florence. He later traveled to the Middle East and 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]

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.[5] 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 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.

In 1976, while Chihuly was in England, he was involved in a head-on car accident during which he flew through the windshield.[6] 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."[7] 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.[8]

About his work

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.[11]


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,[12] the other at the MGM Grand Casino in Macau.[13] 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.[14][15] 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.[16] Called Chihuly Garden and Glass, it opened May 21, 2012.[17][18]

2006 lawsuit

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 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 influence on art style does not constitute copyright infringement.[19][20] Chihuly settled the lawsuit independently with Rubino initially,[21] and later Kaindl as well.[22]

Permanent collections

Further information: List of works by Dale Chihuly
Chihuly's The Sun was on temporary display until January 2006 at Kew Gardens

Chihuly's art appears in permanent collections all over the world, including in the United States, Canada, England, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait.


Chihuly ceiling glass art in exhibition 'Through the Looking Glass', Boston MFA, 2011


  1. 1 2 Hackett, Regina (18 April 2006). "Chihuly victimized by his own success?". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  2. Chihuly: Through the looking glass. Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Accessed April 20213.<http://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/chihuly>
  3. 1 2 3 Williams, David O. "Dale Chihuly". Diane Farris Gallery. Diane Farris Gallery. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Kuspit, Donald B. (1998). Chihuly (2nd ed.). Seattle: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
  5. "Learn More". Chihuly. Chihuly Studio. Retrieved 23 October 2014. From his personal website.
  6. Glass Houses: Dale Chihuly Files a Lawsuit That Raises Big Questions... About Dale Chihuly, The Stranger, February 2006
  7. ‘Chihuly’ a site-specific explosion of art at Salk, by Erin Glass, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 April 2010
  8. Chihuly Over Venice, from Chihuly's Portland Press website
  9. Archived November 18, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Archived June 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. Cohen, Jay (October 4, 1999). "Cooling a hotbed of unrest in Mideast?". Deseret News. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  12. "List of stores". Bellagio.com. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  13. Press release by MGM Macau mentioning Chihuly shop (search for "Chihuly retail") Archived March 19, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. Heffter, Emily (10 June 2010), "Chihuly glass museum proposed at Seattle Center where Fun Forest stood", Seattle Times
  15. 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
  16. Davis, Ben (28 April 2011). "Divisive Dale Chihuly Glass-Art 'Museum' Approved for Former Seattle Amusement Park". ArtInfo. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  17. "Chihuly Garden and Glass Opens with Dedication Ceremony on Monday, May 21". PRNewswire. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  18. Riefe, Jordan (21 May 2012). "Dale Chihuly's 'Glass House' Shines in Seattle". Reuters. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  19. "Glass warfare". St. Petersburg Times. 2006-06-11. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  20. O'Hagan, Maureen (2005-12-20). "Glass artist Chihuly's lawsuit tests limits of copyrighting art". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  21. Sheila Farr and Susan Kelleher (2006-08-15). "Artists Chihuly, Rubino settle claims; suit against entrepreneur unresolved". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
  22. Kelleher, Susan (2006-12-19). Chihuly, rival glass artist settle dispute. The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  23. Archived November 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. "Dale Chihuly - Artist - Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000". Chihuly.com. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  25. Hawkins Opie, Jennifer, ed. (2001). Chihuly at the V&A. V&A Publications in association with Portland Press.
  26. undefined
  27. Archived February 11, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  28. James Morley (2006-01-15). "Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Current events: Gardens of glass: Chihuly at Kew: The Exhibition". Rbgkew.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  29. "Art : Modern and Contemporary American Art | Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA)". Kiarts.org. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  30. Archived November 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  31. "Calendar". Mobot.org. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  32. http://oisterwijksculptuur.nl/index.php?id=108
  33. Archived September 29, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  34. http://www.maybornmuseum.com/chihuly
  35. "Chihuly at Phipps". Retrieved 2015-02-06.
  36. "chihulyatthedeyoung.org". chihulyatthedeyoung.org. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  37. "Visit the Desert Botanical Garden | Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, AZ". Dbg.org. 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  38. Archived December 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  39. "The Phil in Naples". Thephil.org. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  40. Archived August 19, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  41. "Chihuly at the Salk". Salk.edu. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  42. "Chihuly | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston". Mfa.org. 2011-04-10. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  43. "Chihuly". Dallasarboretum.org. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  44. "VMFA: At The Museum: Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts". Vmfa.state.va.us. 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
  45. "VMFA: Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal". mbam.qc.ca. 2013-06-23. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  46. "Chihuly in the Garden Exhibition". Desert Botanical Garden. Desert Botanical Garden. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  47. "Chihuly Denver". Denver Botanic Gardens. Visit Denver. Retrieved 21 October 2014.
  48. "Chihuly Venetians".
  49. Kang, Yoon (2016-03-31). "CHIHULY". Retrieved 2016-07-26.
  50. "Chihuly in the Garden". Retrieved 2016-09-27.


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