It's no secret that I love all things glass. I don't even like plastic drinking glasses and always have my beverages in real glass. But I especially love art glass.
As with most glass lovers I was first exposed to art glass through the work of Dale Chihuly. When I worked for NationsBank (now Bank of America) in Charlotte, NC there was a gigantic orange chandelier hanging above the walkway between 2 buildings. I called it the chili pepper and it was my first Chihuly.
Since then I have seen a number of his exhibits and have been introduced to many other wonderful glass artists. I collect a little glass and have one Christmas tree that is totally decorated with blown glass ornaments.
I was very excited last summer when I found out that the VMFA, here in Richmond, was going to host a Chihuly exhibit. I've now been 4 times and recommend it to anyone who lives in the area or who can get here to see it before it closes February 10.
We are also fortunate to have another exhibit here as well but it closes this weekend so you need to hurry to see it. This one is at the Visual Arts Center and is the work of Harvey K. Littleton. I don't know that there would have ever been a studio art glass movement without Harvey Littleton. His father worked at Corning and is the person who gave us Pyrex. Harvey was a physicist turned artist. He started as a potter but wanted to work with glass. Before he developed the first "backyard" furnace all glass had been made in industrial settings. He is the father if the art glass movement and Dale Chihuly studied under him at the University of Wisconsin. The exhibit at the Visual Arts Center has an excellent video that tells the history.
All of these photos are from the Chihuly exhibit and I hope you enjoy them. I've left them large so you can click on them to see more detail. The exhibit is glass on a grand scale and I may go back for a 5th viewing before it leaves.