A Visual Tease: The Chihuly Chandelier
Photo courtesy VMFA
If you are driving down Boulevard at night, then you should be able to see the VMFA newest installation of the Chihuly Chandelier.
It is a signature installation of the Dale Chihuly exhibition. Installation began on October 5 and just completed for the exhibition opening date on October 20.
The chandelier features an intricate, 3,000 pound glass chandelier that is visible from the museum’s main approach. It is over 18 feet tall and made of 1,151 hand-blown turquoise, clear and gold glass elements.
Blue Ridge Chandelier hangs adjacent to the Tiffany Christ Resurrection Window.
“The chandelier [is] inspired by the Tiffany windows.” VMFA Director Alex Nyerges said, “Although a century apart, we’re delighted to showcase two legendary glass innovators side by side, especially since this year is the 50th anniversary of the studio glass movement.”
Chihuly at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is among the many commemorative glass exhibitions and events that are being celebrated by the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass.
Fifty years ago, Harvey Littleton, an artist and son of the director of Corning Glass Works, organized the Toledo Workshops and spearheaded the development of smaller furnaces and kilns that could be used by artists in their own studios. Through a series of seminars at Toledo, Littleton taught glassmaking techniques ranging from blowing and casting to engraving, polishing, etching and painting. In 1963, Littleton established a glass art program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and Dale Chihuly was one of his students.
In 1969, Chihuly helped establish a glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Two years later, he and glassmaker Paul Marioni cofounded the Pilchuck Glass School, an experimental program begun on a tree farm in Seattle that has become a leading institution in the studio glass movement. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Chihuly taught at Wisconsin, RISD and Pilchuck. He is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the medium of glass from the realm of craft to fine art.
The Chihuly exhibition at VMFA is the artist’s third major U.S. museum exhibition in recent years. Chihuly is recognized for his ambitious architectural installations around the world, in historic cities, public museums and gardens. A hundred and one exhibitions in seven countries have presented artworks by the artist during the last decade, which have been enjoyed by more than 10 million visitors.
Jon Henry comes from the small town of Washington, Virginia. Xe finished xes degree at the University of Richmond and was named GayRVA.com's Out.Spoken. Richmonder of the Year for 2011. When not in class, xe is either in the studio or rabble rousing with other queer activists. Follow xem on Twitter.
Persian Ceiling, 2008. de Young Museum, San Francisco (detail). Photo Credit: Teresa Nouri Rishe. You may have seen the giant chandelier hanging at the VMFA as you drove, walked, or ran by it. It is just a tease of what else is on display within the Museum’s walls and grounds. As you walk into the [...]October 25, 2012
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