At the Institute of International Education's international awards dinner on October 4, 2011, IIE will present its Fritz Redlich Alumni Award to Fulbright alumnus Dale Chihuly, of his distinguished career in creating art across many different cultures. A piece of art by the artist will be auctioned at the event, to help support the work of IIE.
Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Ann Stock will join IIE president Allan Goodman in presenting the award, in recognition of Mr. Chihuly’s status as an alumnus of the Fulbright Program, the nation’s flagship educational exchange. IIE administers the Fulbright Student and Scholar Programs for the U.S. Department of State.
IIE’s Fritz Redlich Alumni Award recognizes accomplished program alumni who contribute innovative ideas, valuable knowledge, and dedication to the cause of mutual understanding and international cooperation. Past honorees and Fulbright alumni include visual artist Chuck Close, conductor Lorin Maazel and soprano Renée Fleming.
Mr. Chihuly was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work at the Venini factory in Venice, Italy in 1968, after graduating from the University of Washington and studying glass at the University of Wisconsin and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). He credits his Fulbright experience in Venice, where he observed the team approach to blowing glass, with being critical to the way he works today. His work is included in over two hundred museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including ten honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and has had exhibitions throughout the United States and around the world.
Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for over a decade. After his Fulbright experience at the Venini factory in Venice, Italy, Chihuly cofounded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State in 1971. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art.
Chihuly has created many well-known series of works, among them the Baskets, Persians, and Seaforms, but he is also celebrated for large architectural installations. In 1986, he was honored by a solo exhibition, Dale Chihuly objets de verre, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, in Paris. In 1995, he embarked on the international project, Chihuly Over Venice, which involved working in glass factories in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico, with the resultant sculptures installed over the canals and piazze of Venice.
In 1999, Chihuly mounted his most challenging exhibition, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem; more than one million visitors attended the Tower of David Museum to view his installations. In 2001, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London curated the exhibition Chihuly at the V&A. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, was dedicated in 2002. Chihuly’s lifelong affinity for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings. His garden exhibition was first presented in 2001 at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. In 2005, Chihuly exhibited at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, near London, and at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida in both 2006 and 2007. His most ambitious exhibition to date opened at the de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2008.