Mille Colori

Artist: Dale Chihuly

Material Used: Blown Glass

Location: Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

​​In 1996, artist Dale Chihuly created 15 enormous chandeliers, placing them under bridges and across the Venetian canals as a tribute to the biennale Aperto Vetro. The result was an electrifying, unforgettable experience. Several of these works were re-sited at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia (now the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art) for the Art of Glass exhibition in 1999, including the multicolored Isola di San Giacomo in Palude chandelier. In 2003, Chihuly's colorful chandelier Isola di San Giacomo in Palude II was purchased through private donations and retitled Mille Colori. Permanently installed at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Chihuly's 14-foot tall chandelier hangs just above the heads of visitors in the center of the sunlit Rodriguez Pavilion.

Fun Facts

  • Mille Colori is Italian and means "one thousand colors.”
  • The estimated weight of Mille Colori is 2,200 to 2,500 pounds.
  • Nature and gardens are two of his biggest inspirations.
  • Each Chihuly exhibition is designed specifically for the space, exterior and interior included.
  • The Rodriguez Pavilion was built to specifically house Mille Colori.

About the Artist

​​Often called "the world's greatest living artist," Dale Chihuly has single-handedly changed the glass world with his elaborate and extraordinary works. His retrieval of ancient glass-blowing techniques and his founding of the Pilchuck Glass School, the most prominent glass-working school in the world, are both groundbreaking moments in contemporary glass art. In his Seattle "hot shop," he and his team of glassblowers push the limits of molten glass, darting across the room like dancers, their movements choreographed by the master.