Archive for August 14th, 2008

Chihuly Exhibit


A Mass of Glass

A Mass of Glass

Yesterday I went into San Francisco to the De Young Museum for the Chihuly exhibit. Chihuly is the pirate (he has an eyepatch therefore he must be a pirate) who makes the abstract works of brightly colored glass in Seattle. There are been some criticism of this exhibit as being too commercial. I don’t think it was too commercial, too commercial would have had price tags on every piece with salesmen strolling through the gallery encouraging prospective buyers. Maybe it would have been better to say that the exhibit was not full of thought provoking artistic works, rather it was full of great looking masses of glass.


I was surprised that I was able to take photos in the exhibit (sans tripod and flash of course) since when growing up I have always assumed that you cannot take photos in museums. I don’t know if museums have changed recently or if they have always been like this, I first noticed it in Paris. Anyway now I have a few photos of the exhibit in my web gallery

I don’t see how the exhibit could be commerical since none of the pieces would look good on their own (excluding the melty-tulip ones and the large entanglements of glass). The large pieces were impressive due to their bright colors and multitudes of individual pieces. If someone did manage to buy an entire room full of Chihuly glass (I know the Bellagio in Las Vages has) they would need great lighting to show it off. The exhibit looked great in part due to the superb lighting in the De Young, it was the black rooms, reflective floors and well placed spots that created the good aura around the pieces. I could not imagine using a flash even if it was allowed. 

One of my first thoughts: earthquake. I would not want to be below several hundred pound of sharp suspended glass if an earthquake hit. On the other hand being in a modern building in San Francisco would be a relatively safe place to be. Five minutes after talking about this I overheard another group of people discussing the earthquake risk of large glass objects on high shelves. 

The end of the glass journey ended in the, surprise, gift store. For a mere seven thousand dollars you could get a really fancy goldfish bowl. Or maybe someplace to put that thirty year old potpourri. The last half hour of the museum trip (it is only possible to spend a maximum of three hours in a musuem) was spent wandering the upper floors of the De Young. My favorite room is the one overlooking the giant corridor pin and filled with late 19th century landsape paintings. Especially Heade and Church

Like any good museum the last stop of the day was in one of the many museum stores conveniently located next to the exit.

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