Chihuly at the de Young

Exhibition dates: June 14–September 28, 2008

Press preview: Tuesday, June 10 \ 11:00 am

San Francisco, March 2008—The de Young Museum hosts Dale Chihuly’s first major exhibition in San Francisco, June 14 through September 28, 2008. Chihuly at the de Young includes eleven galleries of new and archival works representing the breadth and scope of the artist’s creative vision over the last four decades. The de Young Museum is the only venue for this exhibition. “I’m very excited about my upcoming show at the de Young. It will be the most ambitious show I’ve created to date,” says Chihuly.

A pioneer of the studio glass movement, Chihuly has transformed the form and function of glass, making the Pacific Northwest a vital region in the contemporary art scene. Chihuly has also contributed to the evolution of public art, creating memorable installations for both architectural and natural settings. Prior to the opening at the de Young, Chihuly will create installations that take advantage of the spectacular settings and architecture of both the de Young and Legion of Honor Museums. These ambitious installations will offer a preview of Chihuly at the de Young, as they will debut in April and remain throughout the duration of the exhibition.

  • Saffron Tower—a 30-foot yellow neon sculpture will be installed in the Pool of Enchantment on the de Young’s east side.
  • Sun—a 15-foot radiant yellow orb will be installed at the Legion of Honor in the exterior Court of Honor.
  • Chandelier and Tower—two installations, ceiling-mounted Aquamarine Three-Tiered Chandelier and floor-mounted Sea Blue and Green Tower, will be installed in the Rodin sculpture galleries at the Legion of Honor.

de Young Exhibition
Chihuly at the de Young takes a comprehensive view of the artist’s dramatic, colorful, and textured works that generate instant international recognition. This exhibition represents all the creative periods of the artist’s career, from drawings to single vessels to architectural installations. Included in the exhibition:

  • Glass Forest #3 recreates one of Chihuly’s earliest installations. Comprised of white milk-glass and neon, the first version of this work was exhibited in New York at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now the Museum of Arts & Design), and has not been viewed in the U.S. since 1972.
  • Five Chandeliers will dramatically transform an entire gallery. Their titles suggest a feast of color and form, characteristic of one of Chihuly’s most celebrated series: Ruby Red, Turquoise Icicle, Orange Hornet and Eelgrass, Chiostro di Sant’ Apollonia, and Palazzo de Loredana Balboni.
  • A 56-foot-long Mille Fiori garden of glass composed of bold forms in vibrant colors provides a powerful conclusion to the exhibition.
  • The Tabac Baskets will be displayed in the context of objects that have served as sources of inspiration to the artist.

The Artist
Dale Chihuly is most frequently lauded for revolutionizing the studio glass movement by expanding its original premise of the solitary artist working in a studio environment to encompass the notion of collaborative teams and a division of labor within the creative process. However, Chihuly’s contribution extends well beyond the boundaries both of this movement and even the field of glass: his achievements have influenced contemporary art in general. Chihuly’s practice of using teams has led to the development of complex, multipart sculptures of dramatic beauty that place him in the leadership role of moving blown glass out of the confines of the small, precious object and into the realm of large-scale contemporary sculpture.

Audio Tour and Catalog
An Antenna Audio tour with an introduction by John E. Buchanan, the director of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and an interview with the artist is available for $6 ($5 Members). The catalog, The Art of Dale Chihuly (Chronicle Books, 2008), by Timothy Anglin Burgard, the Ednah Root Curator-in-Charge of the American Art Department, available in hardback ($40) and paperback ($24.95), accompanies the exhibition.

Chihuly at the de Young is organized by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in cooperation with Dale Chihuly and is supported by the Koret Foundation and The Barkley Fund. The exhibition and installations are coordinated by Timothy Anglin Burgard, Ednah Root Curator-in-Charge of the American Art Department.

Media Contacts:
Jill Lynch \ 415.750.3553 \

Robin Wander \ 415.750.2604 \