Radiant Medusa

Chihuly chandelier finds a home in Storer

It's colorful, intricate, sinuously alive, delicate in detail, grand in scale. Gilded Silver and Aquamarine Chandelier, by the internationally known glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, now graces the high ceiling of the William Stroud Lobby of Storer Hall, the latest noteworthy work of art to find a home on the Kenyon campus.

The sculpture, which Chihuly created in 2000, was installed during October break by two employees of Chihuly's Seattle studio, with the assistance of three Kenyon art students. The work, with its seashell-shaped spindles reaching in all directions, has been admiringly described as "a baroque and radiant Medusa of a light fixture." The work is on extended loan to the College from the collection of Graham Gund '63.

"Installing the chandelier was not just a matter of hanging it up," says Special Assistant to the President Howard Sacks, who notes that the sculpture arrived in Gambier packed in fifty-one boxes. The design allows for the installers to choose the way individual pieces of glass are arranged so as to complement the setting. "It's unique in every new setting," says Sacks. The Kenyon students helped to make these aesthetic decisions.

Preparations for the installation actually began during the summer. In August, additional steel supports were placed in the lobby's ceiling to support the weight of the chandelier. Special lighting was installed to illuminate the work, which has no lighting mechanism of its own.

The collections of more than two hundred museums worldwide include pieces by Chihuly, a renowned innovator in glass-blowing and glass art. A number of his works are currently on exhibition in the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.