The centerpiece of the Chihuly exhibition and WMODA fund-raising event in the Hamptons on August 20th is this spectacular Turquoise Frost chandelier which hung originally at Lismore Castle in Ireland. Chihuly fully developed his Chandeliers concept in 1995 when he took his team to work at the Waterford factory, which is famous for its crystal chandeliers.
Chihuly produced his first Chandelier in 1992 for the Seattle Art Museum. Initially, the glass components resembled large balloons suspended from a metal frame but soon they became amorphous explosions in glass which look like living organisms with writhing tendrils. For his ambitious Chihuly over Venice project in 1995, extravagant glass chandeliers were hung above the canals and piazzas of the Italian city. That same year, Chihuly began exploring large scale installations in gardens and conservatories, notably at the formal Jacobean gardens of Lismore Castle, the Irish home of the Duke of Devonshire, and the National Botanic Gardens near Dublin.
Strictly speaking, the extravagant glass sculptures which Chihuly pioneered for Lismore Castle and Venice are not really chandeliers as they are not sources of light. For most of the day, natural light shines down onto the glass structures creating an interplay of light and color with translucency and transparency transcending function. One of Chihuly’s most famous hanging installations is the phenomenal blue and gold chandelier in the foyer of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, which is being assembled in this video.