Dale Chihuly: Creating Magic through Glass

As we note in our profile, glass artist Dale Chihuly is a magician of sorts. He has stretched the most fragile of mediums to its absolute limit, creating forms and colors that seem beyond possibility. From hanging chandeliers over the canals of Venice, to crafting intricate flower arrangements entirely from glass, this two-time NEA Visual Arts Fellow has elevated what was once a largely decorative form to a fine art. In the slideshow below, we see ten of his visually astounding works. As Chihuly himself said of glass, “It’s magic. It’s the most magical of all materials.”

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Dale Chihuly with Palazzetto Stern Chandelier, Venice, 1996.

Dale Chihuly with Palazzetto Stern Chandelier, Venice, 1996.

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Powder Blue Seaform Set with Bright Yellow Lip Wraps by Dale Chihly, 2000.

Powder Blue Seaform Set with Bright Yellow Lip Wraps by Dale Chihly, 2000.

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Dale Chihuly’s Gilt Reclining Putti (1997). "Putti" is an Italian term for chubby male boys who appear in works of art.

Dale Chihuly’s Gilt Reclining Putti (1997). "Putti" is an Italian term for chubby male boys who appear in works of art.

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Dale Chihuly’s Icicle Creek Chandelier, 1996.
12 x 9 x 6'. The piece is installed at the
Sleeping Lady resort in Leavenworth, Washington.

Dale Chihuly’s Icicle Creek Chandelier, 1996.
12 x 9 x 6'. The piece is installed at the
Sleeping Lady resort in Leavenworth, Washington.

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Dale Chihuly’s Sunset Boat (2006) at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville. The piece was installed in 2010.

Dale Chihuly’s Sunset Boat (2006) at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville. The piece was installed in 2010.

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Dale Chihuly’s Silvered Cranberry Ikebana with Quintet of Cobalt Stems (2009). Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging.


Dale Chihuly’s Silvered Cranberry Ikebana with Quintet of Cobalt Stems (2009). Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging.


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Dale Chihuly’s Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000. The installation was erected at Israel’sTower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem.

Dale Chihuly’s Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000. The installation was erected at Israel’sTower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem.

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With Seattle’s Space Needle looming in the background, Dale Chihuly’s Glasshouse Sculpture hangs in Chihuly Garden and Glass.

With Seattle’s Space Needle looming in the background, Dale Chihuly’s Glasshouse Sculpture hangs in Chihuly Garden and Glass.

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Dale Chihuly’s Mercato del Pesce di Rialto Chandelier (1996) 
hanging near a canal in Venice.

Dale Chihuly’s Mercato del Pesce di Rialto Chandelier (1996) 
hanging near a canal in Venice.

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Dale Chihuly’s Crystal Mountain (1999), installed at Israel’s Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem.

Dale Chihuly’s Crystal Mountain (1999), installed at Israel’s Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem.