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Dale Chihuly (American, b.b. 1941)


Birth Place: Tacoma, Washington

Dale Chihuly is an American glass sculptor, born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington. He was educated in interior design, architecture and art before working at the Venini glass factory in Venice. He continued his education, receiving an M.S. in Sculpture at the University of Wisconsin, then an M.F.A. in Ceramics at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Chihuly went on to establish a glassmaking program at RISD before co-founding the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State in 1971.

Chihuly produced large scale glass installations such as Jerusalem Wall of Ice and Fiori di Como. His exhibitions have taken place in museums such as the Victoria and Albert in London as well as in public spaces like the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and the New York Botanical Garden. While his work is found in over 200 museums worldwide, the largest collection of Chihuly glass is exhibited in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. That exhibit features the Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower; a swirling yellow and blue column of glass standing fifty-five feet tall.

Chihuly has been married to Leslie Jackson since 2005. In 1976 he was severely injured in a car accident, leaving him with cuts to his face and no sight in his left eye. A bodysurfing accident in 1979 injured his shoulder, leaving him physically unable to act as a gaffer in glassblowing. His teams have continued to execute his works, and he has cited the change as allowing him greater perspective on his designs.

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