Artworks
San Jose Chandeliers
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ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

These fantastical glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly are the first works of art to greet you at the San Jose Museum. 

They brighten up the otherwise slightly non-descript, contemporary lobby as sunshine streams in from the floor to ceiling windows. And if you’re a cheapskate, you can technically go see them without paying admission! Just pretend you’re on your way to the museum store or café while you sneak pictures with your phone.  It may be worth coughing up the eight bucks though to go upstairs and check them out from the balcony, where you can see the gorgeous twisting coils of blown glass up close.

As I stood there, taking in the enormous chandeliers that hang so precariously from thin wires, my mind wanders to how much money they would be out if the big earthquake strikes.  Glass is not known for its resilience upon falling a full story, you know. I can't even keep my wine glasses from breaking in the sink!

I’m particularly fond of the “Cadmium Red” sculpture, probably because the tangled tendrils so closely resemble my own messy red curls. (Working from home has its perks, and not brushing your hair is a big one.)  The “Nuutajarvi Turquoise” piece is beautiful too, a graceful jellyfish floating through the air. 

The “Cadmium Yellow” one got me thinking about alien creatures from a far and distant universe.  Is it simply coincidence that Chihuly looks like “Cthulhu,” the horrifying beast from H.P. Lovecraft’s science fiction story that has tentacles just like these for lips? We’ll have to harass the museum guide about it during our next San Jose visit, but you can read about this trip on our blog!