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Archive for August, 2011

The green glass tree by Dale Chihuly at Museum of Fine Arts Boston

I have been wondering if the green glass “icicle” tree was going to stay in the MFA Boston’s new atrium now that the Chihuly glass exhibit has ended. It seems such a natural part of the museum’s new wing. As it turns out, the answer is: they’re trying to keep it.

As an MFA Boston member, I received an email today that looks like this. The Museum is asking for gifts in order to acquire the piece, with every dollar being matched by a challenge grant.

The first time I saw the tree from across the atrium, I didn’t occur to me it wasn’t real. It was pretty exciting to get up close and realize this gleaming tree was composed of countless spikes of green glass.

Are they also trying to keep the light-catching orange glass stalks that have been in the narrow outdoor enclosure adjacent to the atrium? I love the vibrancy they add there. There is no mention of them, so my guess is no. In any event, good luck MFA Boston! I hope you get to keep this tree.

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Fellow Bostonians, If you haven’t made it to the fantastical Chihuly glass exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston yet this summer, this is the last week! It will no doubt be crowded, but even so, it is well worth the visit. When the light hits these squirming, stretching, curling tendrils of glass, they can look as if they are on fire. This exhibit offers some of the most delicious landscapes of light, shape and color to be found!

I saw a Chihuly glass installation for my first time last year at the lovely waterfront Milwaukee Art Museum. The sheer enormity and wonder of the piece caught me by surprise, its vibrant orange arms reaching out into the vast white space of the lobby. The MFA Boston’s show, however, turned out to be that multiplied by a thousand. Room after room of glowing large-scale landscape installations create an atmospheric fantasy land. Strangely beautiful glass vegetation combines with chandeliers and sea creatures in a journey that feels like a melding of a Dr. Seuss tale and a visit to an alien planet.

According to Dale Chihuly’s website bio, the artist enrolled in the country’s first glass program at the University of Wisconsin in 1965, and continued studies at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he went on to establish a glass program. He also worked in the Venini glass factory in Venice. He has gone on to co-found Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State and to see his work included in over 200 museum collections around the world.

I hope you can find a few hours this week to stop in at the MFA Boston before this show ends on Sunday. For museum hours and other information, visit the MFA Boston’s website.

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