Chihuly's Venetians: The George R. Stroemple Collection

July 25, 2015 - January 4, 2016 

Chihuly's Venetians: The George R. Stroemple CollectionExtraordinary work by glass luminary Dale Chihuly will be shown at Museum of Glass from July 25, 2015, through January 4, 2016. Creating a vibrant display, the exhibition will feature Chihuly’s own contemporary versions of Italian Art Deco Venetian sculptures.

Chihuly’s Venetians were developed from the inspiration he acquired while making a trip to Venice in 1988. During this trip, he visited a gallery that housed an extraordinary private collection of Venetian glass that represented the pinnacle of Venetian Art Deco. Returning to the U.S., he then decided to create his own versions of the classic pieces with his unique, lively twist. Collaborating with Pino Signoretto and Lino Tagliapietra, two of Italy’s finest glass maestros, Chihuly worked to execute his vision for these pieces.

Guest Curator Linda Tesner states, “In these artworks, the vessel is transformed into a sculpture in its own right, and Chihuly pays homage to Venice itself, the location of the origin of glass art 800 years earlier. The Venetians, not widely seen, have become synonymous with Chihuly’s inventiveness and virtuoso exploration of color and form."

The exhibition consists of 19 Putti Venetians, spacious and ambitious vessels, each with hot-formed figurative sculptures of putti (cherubs) and mythological creatures included in the design; 9 Venetians (without putti); 42 Piccolo Venetians, the smaller but no less spirited vessels originally based on traditional Venetian themes; and 3 Bottlestoppers, monumental vessels inspired by perfume bottles.

“The Venetians represent a rare opportunity to understand the art of Dale Chihuly in the wider context of the Studio Glass movement. Visitors will also be able to learn about traditional Venetian glassblowing techniques and see how Chihuly’s vision and creativity added wild and wonderous elements that take the art in a fantastical new direction,” notes Susan Warner, Executive Director of Museum of Glass.

Chihuly’s Venetians: The George R. Stroemple Collection is sponsored by KING-FM, Tacoma News Tribune and Seattle Met Magazine.


Image Credit: Dale Chihuly (American, born 1941); Gilded Mystic Blue Putti Venetian with Swan and Cherubs, 1994; Glass; 19 x 15 x 15 inches; Courtesy of the George R. Stroemple Collection, a Stroemple/Stirek Collaboration; Photo courtesy of the George R. Stroemple Collection, a Stroemple/Stirek Collaboration.

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