Presenting the Artist: Dale Chihuly

“Glass is the most magical of all materials. It transmits light in a special way.” – Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly Persian Ceiling (detail), 2012 25 x 15' Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, installed 2016

Dale Chihuly is an American artist known for revolutionizing the Studio Glass movement and elevating the medium of glass from the realm of craft to fine art.

With Chihuly at Biltmore now on display, we invite you to learn more about the artist and his impact around the world.

About the Artist

Dale Chihuly with Laguna Torcello II Biltmore, Asheville, North Carolina, 2018
Dale Chihuly, 2017 © 2017 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly discovered his passion for glass during his interior design studies at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, he joined the first glass art program in the United States at the University of Wisconsin.

He later continued his studies and established the glass program at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, where in 1968, he earned an MFA and a Fulbright Fellowship that enabled him to study and work at the prestigious Venini glass factory in Venice.

His pivotal experience there influenced the team glassblowing approach that he later emphasized an educator and employed in his own practice. Upon returning to the US in 1968, he became head of RISD’s glass program and co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington, contributing significantly to the development of glass as fine art.

While mentoring other young artists, Chihuly relentlessly pursued his own creative vision, developing a body of work that is featured today in over 200 museums worldwide, and earning numerous awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and thirteen honorary doctorates.

Exhibitions Around the World

Dale Chihuly, Mille Fiori (detail), 2018 © 2018 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.
Dale Chihuly, Mille Fiori (detail), 2018 © 2018 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.

Chihuly has created more than a dozen well-known series of works, among them, Cylinders and Baskets in the 1970s; Seaforms, Macchia, Persians, and Venetians in the 1980s; Niijima Floats and Chandeliers in the 1990s; and Fiori in the 2000s. He is also celebrated for large architectural installations.

In 1986, he was honored with a solo exhibition, Dale Chihuly objets de verre, at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, in Paris. In 1995, he began Chihuly Over Venice, for which he created sculptures at glass-making facilities in Finland, Ireland, and Mexico, and then installed them over the canals and piazzas of Venice.

In 1999, Chihuly mounted perhaps his most ambitious exhibition to that date, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem; where more than 1 million visitors attended the Tower of David Museum to view his installations. In 2001, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London presented the exhibition Chihuly at the V&A.

Exhibitions in Botanical Settings

Dale Chihuly, Ethereal White Persian Pond, 2018, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, installed 2021 © 2018 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.
Dale Chihuly, Ethereal White Persian Pond, 2018, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, installed 2021 © 2018 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.

Chihuly’s lifelong fascination for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical settings. The Garden Cycle began in 2001 at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, and continued at several locations, among them London’s Royal Botanic Gardens, at Kew in 2005 and 2019; the New York Botanical Garden in 2006 and 2017; and Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay in 2021.

Meanwhile, Chihuly continued to present ambitious exhibitions at museums, including the de Young Museum in San Francisco, in 2008; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2011; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, in 2012; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in 2013; the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, in 2016; the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, in 2017; and the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands in 2018. In 2012, Chihuly Garden and Glass, the artist’s long-term exhibition, opened at Seattle Center.

In 2018, Biltmore welcomed Chihuly at Biltmore, an exhibition showcasing the artist’s breathtaking large-scale glass sculptures in the century-old gardens of America’s Largest Home®. This unique visual experience marked the first art exhibition in Biltmore’s historic gardens and the first garden exhibition of artist Dale Chihuly’s works in North Carolina.

Experience an All-New Chihuly at Biltmore

Dale Chihuly, Sapphire Neon with Burned Logs and Neodymium Reeds (detail), 2015, 8 x 21 x 15' © 2015 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.
Dale Chihuly, Sapphire Neon with Burned Logs and Neodymium Reeds (detail), 2015, 8 x 21 x 15′ © 2015 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.

The success of the 2018 exhibition paved the way for an all-new Chihuly at Biltmore exhibition, presented in Amherst at Deerpark®.

“Amherst offers an ideal setting for you to not only view the installations, but learn about Dale Chihuly’s life, work, and his powerful influence on art, as well as Biltmore’s own connection to glass art,” said Travis Tatham, Biltmore’s Director of Entertainment and Event Programming.

In addition to the awe-inspiring gallery exhibition featuring specially curated pedestal works, Drawings, Chandeliers, Towers, Mille Fiori, and Neon, guests have the opportunity to marvel at two large-scale installations presented on estate grounds: one on the East Terrace in front of Biltmore House and one at the Entry Green in Antler Hill Village.

Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier by Dale Chihuly at Biltmore's Winery
Chandelier in Winery. Dale Chihuly, “Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier,” 2022 9 1/2 x 6 x 6′ Biltmore Winery, Asheville, North Carolina, Installed 2023 © 2022 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.

While in the Village, be sure to admire Chihuly Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier at the Winery. Installed in 2023, it was commissioned especially for Biltmore and is part of the estate’s permanent glorious glass collection.

From the grand interiors of America’s Largest Home® and surrounding artistic landscapes to the awe-inspiring displays in the galleries of Amherst, we can’t wait to welcome you to Chihuly at Biltmore.

Reserve your admission tickets and special admission-inclusive overnight packages for this must-see exhibition.

Featured image
Dale Chihuly with Laguna Torcello II
Biltmore, Asheville, North Carolina, 2018

Biltmore Winery Welcomes Chihuly Chandelier

Biltmore Winery welcomes you to marvel at Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier created by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

Learn more about the inspiration, creation, and location of this beautiful Chandelier by artist Dale Chihuly!

Inspiration for the Chihuly Chandelier

“We are thrilled to share the acquisition of the Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier by Dale Chihuly,” said Bill Cecil, President and CEO of Biltmore and great-grandson of George Vanderbilt.

Portrait of George Vanderbilt and three bottles of wine
George Vanderbilt (left; portrait by John Singer Sargent) was a thoughtful collector of wines whose legacy continues to inspire our handcrafted Biltmore wines today.

“We know that George Vanderbilt was a thoughtful collector of art and wine who enjoyed bringing beautiful objects to fill his home and sharing excellent vintages at his table,” Bill said, “so our family commissioned this piece to represent the importance of wine in our history, from the Vanderbilt era to our modern-day winemaking philosophy.”

The stunning chandelier draws inspiration from the vibrant hues found in Biltmore’s red, white, and rosé wines.

Creating the intricate composition

Travis Tatham (center), Biltmore’s Director of Destination Entertainment and Events, looks at the plans for the new Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier with members of Team Chihuly.
Travis Tatham explores color options for the new Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier
Travis Tatham participates in glassblowing with Team Chihuly in The Hotshop in Seattle, WA.

Chihuly’s Chandeliers are composed of hundreds of blown glass elements that together make up elaborate, intricate compositions. Chihuly began the Chandelier series in 1992 and has since created them for locations all around the world.

Detail of Chihuly Chandelier at Biltmore
Dale Chihuly, Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier, 2022, 8x6x6′, ©2023 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.

“What makes the Chandeliers work for me is the massing of color. If you take hundreds of blown pieces of one color, put them together, and then shine light through them, now that’s going to be something to look at. Hang it in a space and it becomes mysterious, defying gravity or seemingly out of place, like something you have never seen before.” — Dale Chihuly

A welcome addition to Biltmore’s collection

Stained glass La Farge windows
George Vanderbilt’s father commissioned artist and interior designer John La Farge to create several stained glass panels that represent “The Fruits of Prosperity”.

“While we have decorative glass objects in Biltmore’s private collection, such as a Tiffany vase and the La Farge stained glass windows, this commissioned Chihuly Chandelier is the first fine-art glass sculpture to be added to Biltmore’s private collection,” said Ellen Rickman, Director of Museum Services.

Tiffany vase
Part of the Biltmore collection, this handblown vase by famed art glass maker Louis Comfort Tiffany features different layers of glass in different colors, with a gold metallic surface and woven sterling silver overlay.

Dale Chihuly is recognized for having a significant impact on the art world, just as artists like Paul Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet did in their time. We are honored to welcome this work of art into our collection alongside important works by other great artists.

Savor and share Biltmore Winery’s new Chihuly Chandelier

Couple on a romantic date entering the Winery at Biltmore
Biltmore’s Winery offers wonderful ways to savor and share all year round, including the new Chandelier by Chihuly.

All Biltmore guests with estate admission, Annual Pass membership, or an overnight stay are welcome to view the Chihuly Chandelier inside the Wine Shop of our estate Winery in Antler Hill Village. For current hours of operation, visit

For those who enjoy sharing their memories on social media, we invite you to use our official tags:

  • Handles: @biltmoreestate @biltmorewines @chihulystudio
  • Location tag: Biltmore, 1 Lodge Street
  • Hashtag: #ChihulyatBiltmore #Chihuly #Biltmore

Featured image: Dale Chihuly, Iris Gold and Garnet Chandelier, 2022, 8x6x6′, ©2023 Chihuly Studio. All rights reserved.