Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra performs the opera
Bluebeard's Castle with set by Chihuly. Montreal
Museum of Fine Arts holds exhibition of Chihuly art.
Chihuly on Paper, a three-volume set, is published by
Chihuly Workshop. With Seaver Leslie, revisits the
Irish Cylinders from nearly forty years ago with new
Ulysses Cylinders inspired by the James Joyce novel.
Exhibits at Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.
Chihuly Garden and Glass, a long-term exhibition, opens at Seattle Center. Exhibits at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.
Holds exhibitions at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tacoma Art Museum.
Creates temporary installations outdoors at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. Presents exhibition at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Chihuly in Nashville opens with exhibitions at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art and at Frist Center for the Arts, along with performances of Bluebeard's Castle. The opera, featuring his set, is also performed in Tel Aviv by the Israeli Opera.
Begins Silvered series. Presents garden exhibition at Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio. Participates in 53rd Venice Biennale with Mille Fiori Venezia installation. Creates largest commission with multiple installations at island resort of Sentosa, Singapore.
Presents major exhibition at de Young Museum and Legion of Honor, San Francisco. Returns to his alma mater with an exhibition at RISD Museum of Art. Exhibits at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.
Exhibits at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh. Creates stage set for Seattle Symphony's production of Béla Bartók's opera, Bluebeard's Castle.
Mother, Viola, dies at age ninety-eight in Tacoma. Begins Black series with a Cylinder blow. Presents glasshouse exhibitions at Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, and New York Botanical Garden. Chihuly in Tacoma—hotshop sessions at Museum of Glass—reunites Chihuly and glassblowers from important periods of his career. A film, Chihuly in the Hotshop, documents this event and is broadcast nationally on public television stations.
Marries Leslie Jackson. Installs major garden exhibition at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, outside London. Exhibits at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida.
Orlando Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, become first museums to collaborate and present complementary exhibitions of Chihuly's artwork. Installs glasshouse and outdoor exhibition at Atlanta Botanical Garden.
Begins the Fiori series with gaffer Joey DeCamp for the opening exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum's new building. Museum dedicates a permanent space for its Chihuly artwork. Chihuly at the Conservatory opens at Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio.
Creates installations for the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. Chihuly Bridge of Glass, conceived by Chihuly and designed in collaboration with Arthur Andersson of Andersson·Wise Architects, is dedicated in Tacoma.
Chihuly at the V&A opens at Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Groups a series of Chandeliers for the first time, as an installation for Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Presents his first major glasshouse exhibition, Chihuly in the Park, a Garden of Glass at Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago. Artist Italo Scanga dies after more than three decades as friend and mentor.
Designs and exhibits Crystal Tree of Light for White House Millennium Celebration; it will be installed at Clinton Presidential Center, Little Rock, Arkansas, in 2004. Creates La Tour de Lumière sculpture for Contemporary American Sculpture exhibition in Monte Carlo. More than one million visitors enter Tower of David Museum to see Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000, breaking the world attendance record for a temporary exhibition during 1999-2000.
Begins Jerusalem Cylinder series with gaffer James Mongrain. Chihuly starts an ambitious exhibition, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000, for which he creates fifteen installations within an ancient fortress, now Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem. Travels to Victoria and Albert Museum, London, to unveil a large Chandelier within main entrance. Returns to Jerusalem to build a sixty-foot wall from twenty-four massive blocks of ice shipped from Alaska.
Participates in Sydney Arts Festival in Australia. A son, Jackson Viola Chihuly, is born February 12 to Dale Chihuly and Leslie Jackson. Two large Chandeliers are created for Benaroya Hall , home of Seattle Symphony. Chihuly's largest sculpture to date, the Fiori di Como, is installed in Bellagio lobby in Las Vegas. Completes a major installation for Atlantis on Paradise Island, Bahamas. PBS stations air Chihuly Over Venice, the nation’s first high-definition television broadcast.
Expands work with experimental plastics he calls Polyvitro in his newly renovated Ballard Studio. Chihuly is designed by Massimo Vignelli and copublished by Harry N. Abrams, Inc., and Portland Press. Travels to Japan to blow glass at Niijima Glass Art Center and creates several temporary outdoor Float installations. Continuing to other countries with historical glass traditions, he makes use of the industrial molds at a factory in Vianne, France, as a starting point for new ideas.
After a blow in Monterrey, Mexico, Chihuly Over Venice culminates with fifteen Chandeliers installed around Venice. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri, is the first venue for a national tour of Chihuly Over Venice. Chihuly purchases a building in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood for use as mock-up and studio space. Makes a major installation for Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Governor’s Ball after Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, California. Creates his first permanent outdoor installation, Icicle Creek Chandelier, for Sleeping Lady resort in Leavenworth, Washington.
Cerulean Blue Macchia with Chartreuse Lip Wrap is added to the White House Collection of American Crafts. Chihuly Over Venice begins with a glassblowing session in Nuutajärvi, Finland, and subsequent blow at Waterford Crystal factory, Ireland. Creates Chihuly a Spoleto, an installation for 38th Spoleto Festival of the Two Worlds, in Spoleto, Italy.
Chihuly at Union Station, five installations for Tacoma’s Union Station Federal Courthouse, is sponsored by the Executive Council for a Greater Tacoma and organized by Tacoma Art Museum. Supports Hilltop Artists, a glassblowing program in Tacoma for at-risk youths, created by friend Kathy Kaperick. Within two years the program partners with Tacoma Public School District. Discussions begin on a project to build Museum of Glass on Thea Foss Waterway in Tacoma and design the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, to connect the museum to Tacoma's university district.
With Lino Tagliapietra, begins Piccolo Venetian series. Alumni Association of University of Washington names him Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus, its most prestigious honor. Creates 100,000 Pounds of Ice and Neon, a temporary installation in Tacoma Dome.
Begins Chandelier series with a hanging sculpture for Dale Chihuly: Installations 1964–1992, curated by Patterson Sims at Seattle Art Museum. Designs sets for Seattle Opera's 1993 production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande. The Pilchuck Stumps are created during this project but not widely exhibited.
Begins Niijima Float series with Richard Royal as gaffer, creating some of the largest pieces of glass ever blown by hand. Completes architectural installations, including those for GTE World Headquarters in Irving, Texas, and Yasui Konpira-gu Shinto Shrine in Kyoto, Japan. He and Sylvia Peto divorce.
Purchases historic Pocock Building located on Lake Union, realizing his dream of being on the water in Seattle. Renovated and renamed The Boathouse, it serves as studio, hotshop, and archives. Returns to Japan.
With Italian glass masters Lino Tagliapietra and Pino Signoretto, and a team of glassblowers at Pilchuck, begins Putti series. With Tagliapietra, Chihuly creates Ikebana series, inspired by travels to Japan and exposure to ikebana masters.
Inspired by a private collection of Italian Art Deco glass, begins Venetian series. Working from Chihuly’s drawings, Lino Tagliapietra serves as gaffer.
Establishes his first hotshop in Van de Kamp Building near Lake Union in Seattle. Begins working with glass on a larger scale and creates several site-specific installations, including Puget Sound Forms for Seattle Aquarium. Donates permanent collection to Tacoma Art Museum in memory of his brother and father. Completes Rainbow Room Frieze, an installation at Rockefeller Center in New York, with artist Parks Anderson, the start of a long working relationship. Marries playwright Sylvia Peto.
Begins Persian series with Martin Blank as gaffer, assisted by Robbie Miller. With Dale Chihuly Objets de Verre at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, in Paris, he becomes the fourth American artist to have a one-person exhibition at the Louvre.
Returns to Baden, Austria, this time to teach with
William Morris, Flora C. Mace, and Joey Kirkpatrick.
Purchases the Buffalo Shoe Company building on the
east side of Lake Union in Seattle and begins restoring
it for use as a primary studio and residence.
Begins work on Soft Cylinder series, with Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick executing the glass drawings. Honored as RISD President’s Fellow at the Whitney Museum in New York and receives Visual Artists Award from American Council for the Arts and the first of three state Governor’s Arts Awards.
Sells the Boathouse in Rhode Island and returns to the Pacific Northwest after sixteen years on the East Coast. Further develops Macchia series at Pilchuck, with William Morris as chief gaffer.
With William Morris, tours 1,000 miles of Brittany by bicycle in spring. First major catalog is published: Chihuly: Glass, designed by an RISD colleague and friend, Malcolm Grear.
Begins Macchia series, using up to 300 colors of glass. His mother dubs these wildly spotted, brightly colored forms "the uglies," but his friend Italo Scanga eventually christens them Macchia, Italian for "spot."
Resigns his teaching position at RISD but returns periodically in the 1980s as artist-in-residence. Begins Seaform series at Pilchuck. In Providence, creates another architectural installation: windows for Shaare Emeth Synagogue in St. Louis, Missouri. Purchases his first building, the Boathouse, in Pawtuxet Cove, Rhode Island, for his residence and studio.
Dislocates his shoulder in a bodysurfing accident and relinquishes the gaffer position for good. William Morris becomes his chief gaffer for several years. Chihuly begins to make drawings as a way to communicate his designs. With his own American team, blows glass at Lobmeyr studio in Baden, Austria.
Meets Pilchuck student William Morris, and the two begin a close, eight-year working relationship. A solo show curated by Michael W. Monroe at the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C., is another career milestone.
Inspired by Northwest Coast Indian baskets he sees at Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, begins the Basket series at Pilchuck, with Benjamin Moore as gaffer. Continues teaching in both Rhode Island and the Pacific Northwest. Charles Cowles curates a show at Seattle Art Museum of works by Chihuly, Italo Scanga, and James Carpenter.
Visits England with Seaver Leslie. While en route to Ireland, an automobile accident in England leaves him, after weeks in the hospital and 256 stitches in his face, without sight in his left eye and with permanent damage to his right ankle and foot. After recuperating at the home of painter Peter Blake, he returns to Providence to serve as head of the Department of Sculpture and the Program in Glass at RISD. He invites Robert Grosvenor, Fairfield Porter, Dennis Oppenheim, Alan Seret, and John Torreano to RISD as visiting artists. Henry Geldzahler, curator of contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, acquires three Navajo Blanket Cylinders for the museum’s collection—a turning point in Chihuly’s career and the start of a friendship between artist and curator.
At RISD, begins Navajo Blanket Cylinder series. Kate Elliott and, later, Flora C. Mace fabricate the complex thread drawings for his artwork. He receives the first of two National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist grants. Artist-in-residence with Seaver Leslie at Artpark, on the Niagara Gorge, in New York State. Begins Irish Cylinders and Ulysses Cylinders with Leslie and Mace.
Tours European glass centers with Thomas Buechner of Corning Museum of Glass and Paul Schulze, head of Design Department at Steuben Glass. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, he builds a glass shop for the Institute of American Indian Arts. Working at Pilchuck with James Carpenter and a group of students, with the support of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, he develops a technique to pick up glass thread drawings to incorporate into larger glass pieces. In December at RISD, he completes his last collaborative project with Carpenter, Corning Wall, at Corning Museum of Glass in New York State.
While he is at Pilchuck, his studio on Hobart Street in Providence burns down. Returns to Venice with James Carpenter to blow glass for Glas heute exhibition at Museum Bellerive, Zurich, Switzerland. They collaborate on more large-scale architectural projects and, using only static architectural structures, create Rondel Door and Cast Glass Door at Pilchuck. In Providence, they have a conceptual breakthrough with Dry Ice, Bent Glass and Neon.
On the site of a tree farm owned by Seattle art patrons Anne Gould Hauberg and John Hauberg, the Pilchuck Glass School experiment is started. A $2,000 grant to Chihuly and Ruth Tamura from the Union of Independent Colleges of Art and funding from the Haubergs provide seed money. Pilchuck Glass School will grow into an institution with a profound impact on artists working in glass worldwide. Pilchuck Pond, Chihuly’s first environmental installation at the school, is created that summer. In the fall, at RISD, he makes 20,000 Pounds of Ice and Neon and Glass Forest #1,
and Glass Forest #2 with James Carpenter, installations
that prefigure later environmental works by Chihuly.
While Chihuly and friends shut down RISD to protest U.S. offensive in Cambodia, he and student John Landon develop ideas for an alternative school in the Pacific Northwest, inspired by Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Meets artist Buster Simpson, who later works with Chihuly and Landon at the new school, created in 1971. Meets James Carpenter, a student in the illustration department, and they begin a four-year collaboration.
Returns to Europe, this time with his mother, visiting relatives in Sweden and making pilgrimages to meet glass masters Erwin Eisch in Germany and Jaroslava Brychtová and Stanislav Libenský in Czechoslovakia. Establishes the glass program at RISD, where he teaches full time for the next eleven years. Students include Hank Adams, Howard Ben Tré, James Carpenter, Dan Dailey, Michael Glancy, Roni Horn, Flora C. Mace, Mark McDonnell, Benjamin Moore, Pike Powers, Michael Scheiner, Paul Seide, Therman Statom, Steve Weinberg and Toots Zynsky.
Receives M.F.A. in Ceramics from RISD. A Fulbright Fellowship enables him to travel and work in Europe later in the year. Spends the first of four consecutive summers teaching at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine. Its director, Fran Merritt, becomes a friend and mentor. Chihuly accepts an invitation from architect Ludovico de Santillana, son-in-law of Paolo Venini, and becomes the first American glassblower to work in the prestigious Venini factory on the island of Murano.
After receiving M.S. in Sculpture from University of Wisconsin, enrolls at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, where he begins exploration of environmental works using neon, argon, and blown glass. Visits Montreal World Exposition ’67 and is inspired by the architectural glass works of Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová at the Czechoslovak pavilion. Awarded a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant for work in glass. Italo Scanga, then teaching in Pennsylvania State University’s Art Department, lectures at RISD, and the two start a lifelong friendship. They consider themselves brothers.
Earns money for graduate school as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. Enters University of Wisconsin at Madison on a full scholarship, to study glassblowing in the first glass program in the United States, taught by Harvey Littleton.
Receives B.A. in Interior Design from University of Washington and works as a designer for John Graham Architects in Seattle. Introduced to textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen, who becomes a mentor and friend. Experimenting in his basement studio, Chihuly blows his first glass bubble by melting stained glass and using a metal pipe. Awarded Highest Honors from the American Institute of Interior Designers.
While a student, receives the Seattle Weavers Guild Award for innovative use of glass and fiber. Returns to Europe, visits Leningrad, and makes the first of many trips to Ireland.
Works on a kibbutz in Negev Desert, Israel. Meets architect Robert Landsman in Jericho, Jordan, and they visit the site of ancient Petra. Reinspired, returns to University of Washington, College of Arts and Sciences, and studies under Hope Foote and Warren Hill. In a weaving class with Doris Brockway, incorporates glass shards into woven tapestries.
Chihuly interrupts his studies and travels to Florence to focus on art. Unable to speak Italian, he moves on to the Middle East.
Joins Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity and becomes
rush chairman. Learns to melt and fuse glass.
His term paper on Van Gogh and his remodeling of his
mother's recreation room motivate him to transfer to
University of Washington in Seattle to study interior design
Graduates from high school in Tacoma. His mother persuades him to enroll at College of Puget Sound (now University of Puget Sound) in his hometown.
His father suffers a fatal heart attack at age fifty-one, and his mother has to go to work.
Older brother and only sibling, George, dies in a navy flight-training accident in Pensacola, Florida.
Born September 20 in Tacoma, Washington, to George Chihuly a butcher and union organizer, and Viola Magnuson Chihuly, a homemaker and avid gardener. His father is predominantly of Hungarian, Czech, and Slavic ancestry; his mother, Swedish and Norwegian.