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Glass piece set for permanent Eskind display

BY: NANCY HUMPHREY

reporter_4.10.98_10.jpg (23k)

4/10/1998 - This piece of blown glass, titled "Indigo Seaform Set with Red Lip Wraps," will be on permanent display at Eskind Biomedical Library.

A $40,000 piece of blown glass, donated in the memory of a Vanderbilt University School of Medicine alumnus by his sons, will be permanently housed at Eskind Biomedical Library.

The donated piece was created by world renowned and award-winning glass artist Dale Chihuly of Seattle. It is being donated by the sons of Dr. Herman S. Shapiro, a 1944 graduate of the medical school. The piece, entitled Indigo Seaform Set with Red Lip Wraps, will be placed in the front lobby at Eskind.

Chihuly will come to Vanderbilt during the last week in April for several events held in conjunction with the donation. A public lecture, children¹s drawing class and exhibition of Chihuly¹s glass and drawings will be sponsored by the Department of Cultural Enrichment and the medical center Development office.

Chihuly, 56, learned to melt and fuse glass in his basement studio while enrolled at the University of Washington in Seattle. After studying various forms of art abroad, he returned to the University of Washington in the College of Arts and Sciences and received the Seattle Weavers Guild Award for his innovative use of glass and fiber in 1964.

After receiving his college degree and being hired as an interior designer, Chihuly blew his first glass bubble using colored flat glass and metal tubing. In 1966, he changed jobs and worked as a commercial fisherman in Alaska during the summer to earn money for graduate school. On a full scholarship, he entered the University of Wisconsin where he studied glassblowing under Harvey Littleton, who started the first glass program in the United States.

In 1971, Chihuly founded the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, an institution that has had a profound impact on artists around the world who are working with glass. The well-traveled Chihuly renovated the Seattle Boathouse on the water in Seattle in 1990 for use as a studio, hotshop, archives and residence. Most of his work is done there, although his creations continue to be displayed in such venues as Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre.

"Dale Chihuly is known world-wide for his innovative contributions to the worlds of craft and public art," said Donna Glassford, Director of Cultural Enrichment. "To acquire a Chihuly for VUMC¹s art collection is quite exciting because we can share this incredible piece with not only the Vanderbilt community but the entire Nashville community."

The Chihuly-related events are:

o An exhibition of 10 Chihuly glass pieces will be in the Eskind Biomedical Library from April 15 through May 15. The glass is for sale and can be viewed during regular library hours. An exhibition of 10 original Chihuly drawings will be for sale and will be on display in the VUMC Hospital lobby mezzanine level from April 15 through June 30.

o Chihuly will lead a children¹s drawing class in conjunction with Vanderbilt Children¹s Hospital and the Susan Grey School on Tuesday, April 28 at 10 a.m.

o A public lecture will be given by the artist on April 28 at 6 p.m. in 208 Light Hall.

For more information, call the Department of Cultural Enrichment at 936-1234.

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