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Chihuly Arrives in Denver

Submitted by on June 27, 2014 – 8:48 am2 Comments

chihuly-dale_turquoise reedsBefore he’s done, glass artist Dale Chihuly will have had installations in every major botanical garden from coast to coast (your Road Trips Gardener first saw his work in Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory).

Now it’s Colorado’s turn. The Denver Botanic Gardens, 1007 York Street, Denver, Colorado, opened an exhibition of Chihuly’s sculptures on its 24-acre campus. The display continues through November 30, 2014.

Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the perception of the glass medium from the realm of craft to fine art.

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade.

In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, he went to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art.

His work is included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including twelve honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chihuly’s lifelong fascination for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings. His Garden Cycle began in 2001 at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. Chihuly exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London, in 2005. Other major exhibition venues include the de Young Museum in San Francisco, in 2008; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2011; and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in 2013. Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition, opened at Seattle Center in 2012.

Here’s a video about the installation in Denver:

(Photo and video courtesy of Denver Botanic Garden)


  • Donna Janke says:

    I visited the Chihuly exhibit at the Phoenix Botanical Garden this winter – several times. I highly recommend that anyone who gets a chance to see the Chihuly exhibit at the Denver Botanical Gardens go. I hope I get a chance to see it.

  • Donna Janke says:

    I visited the Chihuly Exhibit at the Phoenix Botanical Garden several times this winter and never tired of it. I highly recommend that anyone who has opportunity to see the exhibit at the Denver Botanical Gardens attend. Chihuly’s work is stunning.