UW–Madison alumnus Chihuly continues to captivate the world through glass art

By Sofie Schachter

UW–Madison alumnus Dale Chihuly earned his MFA from the School of Education’s Art Department in 1967 as a student in the recently created Glass Lab. Since then, he has been featured in museums, founded the renowned Pilchuck Glass School, decorated buildings across the world, and had a museum dedicated to his work.

Recently, the Smithsonian Channel released a documentary about Chihuly that is titled, “The Unrivaled Legacy of Dale Chihuly.” 

Dale Chihuly

“The documentary explores Chihuly’s innate charisma and generosity as a teacher,” explains an article in the Smithsonian Institution magazine introducing the documentary. “As a founding father of the glass movement, Chihuly has vitalized the field not only through his own creative ambitions but also because hundreds of artists have galvanized around him.”

In the same story, Smithsonian American Art Museum Director Stephanie Stebich says, “Dale Chihuly is one of the most important artists of the 21st century who has transformed glass into a multidimensional art form.”

In addition to Chihuly’s profound glass artwork, the documentary dives into both his history and present, looking at what influenced him as an artist. From childhood trauma to adulthood blindness, the Smithsonian Channel explores how Chihuly’s life impacted his art, and how his art impacted the lives of others.

Read the fascinating Smithsonian story for more information on Chihuly and the recently released documentary.

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