Golden Teal Chandelier, 2014Dale Chihuly (American, born 1941)
Born in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, he enrolled in the country’s first glass program at the University of Wisconsin, then continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design where he later established and taught in its glass program. In 1968, after receiving a Fulbright Fellowship, Chihuly traveled abroad to work at the Venini glass factory in Venice. There, he observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to his own method of working today. In 1971, he cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington, and from this international center has led the way in making glass a fine art.
Chihuly has mastered the alluring, translucent, and transparent qualities of ice, water, glass, and neon to create works of art that transform the viewer experience. He is well known for his “chandeliers,” which are not functional, but pure sculpture in glass. This work’s blue-gray, aqua, and gold colors relate to historic Crocker architecture as well as to Sacramento’s rivers and history of mining.