Sunday, January 19, 2020

Reflections on Chihuly Glass

When I first encountered the bright, blown-glass sculptures, alive with light and color and flowing lines that suggest movement and life, I'd never heard of artist Dale Chihuly. I thought the glass displays were whimsical and interesting, but didn't give them a second thought.

Missouri Botanical Garden Blue Chandelier, 2006
Missouri Botanical Garden Blue Chandelier, 2006
(That's the title of the piece, not the photo's date! Located in the visitor center.)
I can't even say for sure the first time I encountered Chihuly's work, as I may have seen it with no idea it was his or even who he was. But the first time I remember seeing it was at the Missouri Botanical Gardens, which has a few of his pieces on permanent display. Unfortunately I didn't get many good photos of them. It was only after I visited the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and saw its large collection of Chihuly's glass sculptures that I realized what I'd seen in Missouri, and later was captured by the chandelier sculpture in the visitor center of the Missouri Botanical Gardens on a return visit. A few other pieces adorn various spots of the garden like pockets of hidden treasure for visitors to find.

Now I'm on the lookout for these unique and lovely sculptures. I'm including some of my own photos here, and if you're interested in his work, you can find more at Chihuly's website. Also, if your library offers Hoopla, grab a free loan of the book Dale Chihuly: A Celebration. It's loaded with details and beautiful photos of this unique and vibrant art.

I already offered my best photo from the gardens at the top of the post; below are some I took in 2017 at the Chihuly exhibit in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

Unfortunately a lot of my photos came out blurry. I was not on the ball that day at all, so I haven't many to share at the moment. Where have you discovered Chihuly glass on your travels?

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