Dale Patrick Chihuly was born on September 20, 1941, in Tacoma, Washington. His parents were George and Viola Chihuly; his paternal grandfather was born in Slovakia. In 1956, his older brother and only sibling George died in a Navy aviation training accident in Pensacola, Florida. Two years later in 1958, Chihuly's father died of a heart attack at the age of 51.
Chihuly had no interest in continuing his formal education after graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1959. However, at his mother's urging, he enrolled at the College of Puget Sound. A year later, he transferred to the University of Washington in Seattle to study interior design. In 1961, he joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (Kappa Epsilon chapter), and the same year he learned how to melt and fuse glass. In 1962, Chihuly dropped out of the university to study art in Florence. He later traveled to the Middle East where he met architect Robert Landsman. Their meeting and his time abroad spurred Chihuly to return to his studies. In 1963, he took a weaving class where he incorporated glass shards into tapestries. He received an award for his work from the Seattle Weavers Guild in 1964. Chihuly graduated from the University of Washington in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in interior design.
In 1976, while Chihuly was in England, he was involved in a head-on car accident that propelled him through the windshield. His face was severely cut by glass and he was blinded in his left eye. After recovering, he continued to blow glass until he dislocated his right shoulder in 1979 while bodysurfing.
In 1983, Chihuly returned to his native Pacific Northwest where he continued to develop his own work at the Pilchuck Glass School, which he had helped to found in 1971. No longer able to hold the glassblowing pipe, he hired others to do the work. Chihuly explained the change in a 2006 interview, saying "Once I stepped back, I liked the view", and said that it allowed him to see the work from more perspectives, enabling him to anticipate problems earlier. Chihuly's role has been described as "more choreographer than dancer, more supervisor than participant, more director than actor".San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Erin Glass wrote that she "wonders at the vision of not just the artist Chihuly, but the very successful entrepreneur Chihuly, whose estimated sales by 2004 was reported by The Seattle Times as $29 million."
Chihuly and his team of artists were the subjects of the documentaryChihuly Over Venice. They were also featured in the documentary Chihuly in the Hotshop, syndicated to public television stations by American Public Television starting on November 1, 2008.
In 2010, the Space Needle Corporation submitted a proposal for an exhibition of Chihuly's work at a site in the Seattle Center, in competition with proposals for other uses from several other groups. The project, which sees the new Chihuly exhibition hall occupy the site of the former Fun Forest amusement park in the Seattle Center park and entertainment complex, received the final approval from the Seattle City Council on April 25, 2011. Called Chihuly Garden and Glass, it opened May 21, 2012.
In 2006, Chihuly filed a lawsuit against his former longtime employee, glassblower Bryan Rubino, and businessman Robert Kaindl, claiming copyright and trademark infringement. Kaindl's pieces used titles Chihuly had employed for his own works, such as Seaforms and Ikebana, and resembled the construction of Chihuly's pieces. Legal experts stated that influence on art style did not constitute copyright infringement. Chihuly settled the lawsuit with Rubino initially, and later with Kaindl as well.
Chihuly's The Sun was on temporary display until January 2006 at Kew Gardens
1992: Chandeliers, starting modestly but by the middle of the decade involving a ton of glass orbs and shapes that in some works look like flowers, others like breasts, and still others like snakes. Chihuly has also produced a sizable volume of "Irish cylinders", which are more modest in conception than his blown glass works.
For his exhibition in Jerusalem, Israel, in 2000, in addition to the glass pieces, he had enormous blocks of transparent ice brought in from an Alaskan artesian well and formed a wall, echoing the stones of the nearby Citadel. Lights with color gels were set up behind them for illumination. Chihuly said the melting wall represented the "dissolution of barriers" between people. This exhibit holds the world record for most visitors to a temporary exhibit with more than 1.3 million visitors.
^ abHackett, Regina (18 April 2006). "Chihuly victimized by his own success?". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original on 20 September 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
^"Chihuly: Through the looking glass". Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Archived from the original on 24 December 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
^ ab"Dale Chihuly – Legendary Master of Glass". Northwest Prime Time. 1 May 2013. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
^ abcdefKuspit, Donald B. (1998). Chihuly (2nd ed.). Seattle: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
^"Renowned Glass Artist's Mother Dies at 98". Spokesman.com. Spokane Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
^ abcChihuly, Dale. "Timeline". Chihuly.com. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
^"Learn More". Chihuly. Chihuly Studio. Archived from the original on 19 October 2014. Retrieved 23 October 2014. From his personal website.
^Graves, Jen (February 2006). "Glass Houses: Dale Chihuly Files a Lawsuit That Raises Big Questions... About Dale Chihuly". The Stranger. Archived from the original on 27 November 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2016.
^Glass, Erin (22 April 2010). "'Chihuly' a site-specific explosion of art at Salk". San Diego Union-Tribune. Archived from the original on 30 July 2016.
^"Chihuly Over Venice". Chihuly.com. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
^Heffter, Emily (10 June 2010), "Chihuly glass museum proposed at Seattle Center where Fun Forest stood", Seattle Times, archived from the original on 12 March 2010
^Heffter, Emily (10 June 2010), "In a second attempt to sell the city and the public on a Dale Chihuly glass exhibit at Seattle Center", Seattle Times, archived from the original on 2010-06-13
^Davis, Ben (28 April 2011). "Divisive Dale Chihuly Glass-Art 'Museum' Approved for Former Seattle Amusement Park". ArtInfo. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
^"Chihuly Garden and Glass Opens with Dedication Ceremony on Monday, May 21". PRNewswire. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
^Riefe, Jordan (21 May 2012). "Dale Chihuly's 'Glass House' Shines in Seattle". Reuters. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
^O'Hagan, Maureen (2005-12-20). "Glass artist Chihuly's lawsuit tests limits of copyrighting art". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
^Farr, Sheila; Kelleher, Susan (2006-08-15). "Artists Chihuly, Rubino settle claims; suit against entrepreneur unresolved". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2010-02-25.
^Kelleher, Susan (2006-12-19). Chihuly, rival glass artist settle dispute. The Seattle Times. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
^"Chihuly - Niijima". 18 November 2010. Archived from the original on 18 November 2010.
^"Cylinder". Archived from the original on June 27, 2008.
^Cohen, Jay (4 October 1999). "Cooling a hotbed of unrest in Mideast?". Deseret News. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
^"Highlights". Archived from the original on February 11, 2010.
^James Morley (2006-01-15). "Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew: Current events: Gardens of glass: Chihuly at Kew: The Exhibition". Rbgkew.org.uk. Archived from the original on 30 March 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
^"Art : Modern and Contemporary American Art | Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA)". Kiarts.org. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
^"Fairchild". Archived from the original on November 19, 2010.
^"Calendar". Mobot.org. Retrieved 20 December 2012.