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An Eden of Glass: Chihuly Awes with Art Exhibit


In the a pool of water outside the de Young museum stands the Saffron Tower, a striking 30-foot yellow glass structure. It is just a small taste of the magnificent display inside by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

Most likely you have never seen art like this before. Every dramatically backlit piece is a blast of color and texture. Chihuly’s innovative glasswork includes organic plant and sea shapes, massive 1000-pound glass chandeliers, and Mille Fiore, a 56-foot garden of glass.

To the art world, the name Dale Chihuly sparks both controversy and awe. Before he developed his particular style in 1966, no one thought of using glass for large sculptures.

This is where the controversy comes in: All designs are his, but the work is executed and assembled by a team of artists and glassblowers he employs. When Chihuly hit the scene, art connoisseurs were not sure what to make of his process, even today some people are not sure what to think about it.

These days most people give credit to his genius and find his work too beautiful to have an issue with the creation process.

When you emerge from the exhibit, it truly feels like you’ve been in another world.

The de Young and the Legion of Honor will be showing Chihuly’s work until September 28. The de Young hosts the main exhibit while the Legion of Honor has several of his huge chandeliers on display. A ticket purchased at one museum will get you into the other free of charge on the same day.

With a student ID admission is $11 at the de Young and $10 at the Legion of Honor. Muni riders with a Fast Pass or transfer can get a $2 discount and both museums are free the first Tuesday of every month.

If you’re interested in learning more about Dale Chihuly and his work, including video and interviews, visit

Whatever you do, go and see this exhibit – it is not one to miss!

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