what blue doest thou behold?

April 8, 2009 § 12 Comments



Is it …
Medusa, inverted?
A scene from The Little Mermaid?
an alien?
a stalactite?
underwater volcanic spew?
a brush (hair or otherwise)?
petrified serpents?
a gelatin mold?

It’s a Chilhuly, hung like a chandelier in the foyer of the Missouri Botanical Garden Entrance Hall.
But it doesn’t light up like a chandelier. Which makes it, without the chandel, a lier?

I’ve no idea what Chihuly calls it.
I’d call it grandly blue and very amazingly wrought, since it was blown from glass.

Book Selection…
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams.  I was made to read it in high school.  I got it, so to speak, but years later, even more. Maybe because now I care even more about the writer, his life, and how some of his work came to be rather than dissecting the work. Oh, I know it’s not very popular nor “correct” to examine the author’s work through the author but it’s a pleasure in a way to say, “why, he must have gotten that idea from this or his setting from that, or his character from over there.”

Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.  If you read, honestly read all the way through Alice in Wonderland, chances are good you went on to TtLG. Ah, but I did not. I only picked my way  through Alice.  I read parts I liked ( remembering the Disney movie cartoon.) I enjoyed the illusrations but was disappointed by the ponderousness OR the LSDness of the text. Still, I love him, the good Mr. Carroll for pulling it off, especially his relationship with language. Truly, Jabberwocky is an absolute favorite of mine (memorized it) simply for the word play, the made up gimbling in the wabes and the story in it that you come away with no matter how rich and luxurious and ridiculous and nonsensical  the words.  Thus Chilhuly spins his glass.


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§ 12 Responses to what blue doest thou behold?

  • shoreacres says:

    I didn’t know of Chilhuly until 5 minutes ago, and other works I found with a quick google are beautiful and amazing.

    As for this piece, there are two things I see simultaneously when I look at that rich, deep cobalt running down the center: Evening in Paris perfume bottles, and my mother’s cobalt depression glass Shirley Temple milk pitcher.

  • oh says:

    Linda, you’re right! the Shirley Temple glass – we had a drinking glass, with handle, in that blue and her picture on it, which faded over the years…

  • Heather says:

    It’s so interesting that you picked a Chihuly. My mother LOVES his stuff. I’ve seen his works in the V&A museum in London, a theater in Salt Lake City and a gallary here in Denver. It’s pretty colors but I think they look like sperm.

  • wordlily says:

    I recognized it as Chihuly. 🙂

  • jeanie says:

    Ha! I was right! The pic came to the top of the screen (not the description, just the poem) and I said “Chihuly!” I LOVE his stuff. Have you seen the PBS specials? Amazing. Lovely photo. (I’d call it glorious!)

  • lalber says:

    Lovely photo, Oh. I went to a Chihuly show one, when he was all the rage and everyone was talking about him — I was blown away by many of his designs.

    By the way, I appreciate your supportive comments on my blog!

  • qugrainne says:

    I love Chihuly! We have one in the entrance of our art museum here. Gorgeous!
    I love Alice in Wonderland, too. Carroll was an odd duck, wasn’t he? I’m crazy about the illustrations – Tenniel is my favorite, but Arthur Rackham did a brilliant job of it too. I have collages all over my house that incorporate Alice and her friends. Lots of fun.
    I am enjoying blue week!

  • I love Chilhuly. Simply gorgeous photo, too. The Glass Menagerie fits perfectly.

  • anne says:

    Oooh I love the Medusa like photo….

  • ds says:

    Well, I had no clue what or who the Chilhuly was, but think it Medusa-y & beautiful (i love blue). I do remember the version of The Glass Menagerie that starred Katharine Hepburn and I think Amanda Plummer & the guy who went on to be the first DA of Law & Order or something. “Blue roses.” But I digress…

    Have a frabjous weekend!

  • ds says:

    Chihuly…sorry. And his work is magnificent. Thank you.

  • oh says:

    Heather – well, as you know, I called, laughing.

    Wordlily – Chihuly gets around. I didn’t know of him ’til he arrived in STL 3 years ago. Hubs, however, had seen a piece on PBS and knew all about him. Chihuly is kinda like Johnny Appleseed, going about the world, leaving pieces of his work behind for all to enjoy.

    Jeanie – thanks! He has quite the distinctive handling of twists and turns in glass, doesn’t he?

    Hi, Lisa – interesting that power that visual artists have – I sometimes wish we could write our stuff on huge walls so people could “see” them and read them. Imagine the size venue we would need for a Michener novel!

    Q – what a great idea to have Alice throughout the house. Oh, that Rackham is one of my faves. I have to go check on Tenniel – do I know his work?

    Hi, Jen – so glad you’re back to blogworld. I know these are busy times in so many ways!

    Anne- aha! so you see Medusa-ness, too, at least a wee bit, right?

    Hi, ds – I think I need to watch the K Hepburn version of the ‘Glass Menagerie.’ The one i saw was unknowns (at least to me) and just lacked … something. It’s not a fave, but it’s so poignant (not quite the right word.) You cracked me up with the “frabjous weekend” though! thanks, you too!

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