Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was first introduced to glass when studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965 and working for a time for John Graham Architects, Chihuly enrolled in Harvey Littleton's seminal glass program at the University of Wisconsin. Littleton is considered the father of the American studio glass movement, which changed the medium world-wide from one of craft and design, to one in which artists may work directly with the material for their own aesthetic expression. Chihuly received his M.S. in 1967. He continued his glass studies at the Rhode Island School of
Design (RISD) and was awarded an M.F.A. in 1968. After a Fulbright Fellowship, working and observing in the Venini factory in Venice, Chihuly returned to RISD to establish and head a glass department. In June 1995, while making temporary glass installations along the Nuutajärvi River in Finland, Dale Chihuly tossed some of his forms into the water to let them float downstream. When he saw local children putting them in their small wooden rowboats, he developed an idea for a new work of art. For Chihuly, Boat Installation is a recreation of that experience in Finland.
Uniting color, light, form, and space to deliver uniquely immersive experiences, Chihuly has completed ambitious architectural artwork installations all over the world. Inspired by a lifelong interest in architecture and gardens, Chihuly creates site-specific sculptures for a wide variety of settings, from public spaces and museums, to private homes and gardens. In 1999, Chihuly mounted an ambitious installation, "Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem." More than one million visitors attended the Tower of David Museum to view these installations. In 2001, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London curated the Chihuly exhibition at the V&A. He exhibited at the Salt Lake Art Center during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games in
Salt Lake City, Utah. His first major glasshouse exhibition "Chihuly in the Park: A Garden of Glass" was on display at the Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, was dedicated in 2002. In the summer of 2005, Chihuly returned to London, England and transformed the famous landscape of London's Kew Gardens with large scale, organically-shaped glass sculptures set throughout Kew’s 300-acre garden landscape. Gardens of Glass: Chihuly at Kew included a series of spectacular installations placed within the great glasshouses. SVM