Photo of Clear and Silver Chandelier
Clear and Silver Chandelier
in the Library entrance

Art in the Library

Clear and Silver Chandelier

Artist: Dale Chihuly
Location: UMD Kathryn A. Martin Library Entrance Foyer

Enter the Martin Library, and you will see suspended before you a creation by the internationally known glass artist Dale Chihuly. Take the stairs to the second level to get a closer look. Inspired by nature, especially aspects of the sea, Chihuly manipulates cylindrical forms to construct a dynamic work seemingly illuminated from within.

In 1984, the Minnesota Legislature passed “Percent for Art” legislation to encourage “state building projects with construction or renovation budgets of $500,000 or more” to allocate up to 1 percent of their total construction budgets to purchase or commission original artworks for the sites. While the University of Minnesota is not bound by the statute, it set its own standard and formally launched its Public Art on Campus Program in 1988. The University’s collection of public art has grown rapidly, accelerating with the building boom on the UMD campus in recent years.

Dale Chihuly’s glass sculpture is entitled “Clear and Silver Chandelier,” so-called because silver was melted into the glass medium as it was blown.

Chihuly’s work is often controversial, as he has been highly experimental in his use of glass to create sculptural forms. His work has its roots in the abstract expressionist movement, and over the last several decades, he has vitalized and challenged the glass medium, its production, and its audiences.

The library piece exhibits unmistakable Chihuly hallmarks, as it incorporates influences from his boyhood memories of nature and the sea, and contains an amazing variety of glass cylinders. Clear and Silver Chandelier is composed of individual glass pieces attached with plastic-coated wires to a flat metal strip.

Chihuly’s playful use of colors and inventive forms has made him one of the most popular glass artisans in the United States today. His work is included in over 170 museum collections throughout the world, from New York to Kyoto, Japan.

Dale Chihuly studied at the University of Wisconsin and the Rhode Island School of Design, where he received his MFA in 1968. After that, he received a Fulbright Fellowship and was the first American glassblower to work on the Island of Murano, Italy. In 1971, he cofounded the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle to train the next generation of glass artists.

The library is fortunate to be able to display a glass sculpture by such an internationally recognized artist.

For more information about artist Dale Chihuly, consult the following library information resources:

Chihuly [video recording] This set of six videocassettes (30 min. each) reveals Chihuly’s creativity as he collaborates with his team and with two of the greatest glass masters, Tagliapetra and Signoretto.
• VC 3763, pts. 1-6 (2000)

Chihuly Projects / by Dale Chihuly; essays by Barbara Rose and Dale Lanzone.
• NK5198 .C43 A4 2000A

Chihuly’s Pendletons: and their influence on his work / Corporate author: Pendleton Woolen Mills., Inc.
• NK5198 .C43 A4 2000

Dale Chihuly: installations, 1964-1992 / by Patterson Sims. Corporate author: Seattle Art Museum
• NK5198 .C43 A4 1992

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Phone: 218-726-8102
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Last modified: March 10, 2015
Library Site Coordinator: Kathryn A. Martin Library

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