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Artis-Naples announces major gift to the Baker Museum permanent collection
Dale Chihuly Red Reeds, 2010. 10 x 43 x 2'. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum, Naples, Florida, installed 2020 © Chihuly Studio.

NAPLES, FLA.- Artis—Naples announced today a significant gift from Patty and Jay Baker and Jeanette Montgomery Evert and Herbert P. Evert to The Baker Museum permanent collection: Red Reeds, by Dale Chihuly, an outdoor installation in the Norris Garden that is part of the exhibition Dreaming Forms: Chihuly Then and Now, which closes today. The work, which consists of elongated red blown glass reed forms, will now become a part of The Baker Museum’s collection and will remain in the Norris Garden.

Kathleen van Bergen, CEO and President, said “As we celebrate the 20th anniversary and the completion of the repair and expansion of The Baker Museum, we are grateful to add this iconic work by Dale Chihuly to our permanent collection. We are indebted to Patty and Jay Baker and Jeanette and Herb Evert for their remarkable generosity, gifting this stunning addition to our Norris Garden. This gift is a perfect way to mark the decades-long relationship between Dale Chihuly and our cultural community.” Dreaming Forms was the third Chihuly exhibition in the history of The Baker Museum, preceded by Reflections of Chihuly: A Naples Museum Inaugural Exhibition in 2000 and Chihuly: Recent Work in 2010.

Courtney McNeil, Museum Director and Chief Curator, The Baker Museum, added “Our deepest thanks go to the Bakers and the Everts for this extraordinarily generous gift, and for their commitment to the strength and depth of the museum’s permanent collection. This is a gift for the entire Naples community to enjoy, and we are thrilled that visitors to our Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus will be able to experience its beauty at any time.”

Dale and Leslie Chihuly said “We are proud of our long-standing relationship with The Baker Museum and so pleased that Red Reeds will have a permanent home in this important institution in the Naples community.”

Originating during his experimentation in Nuutajärvi, Finland, and later revisited by Chihuly, reeds are among the most dramatic blown glass forms. To create the long, tubular shape, one glassblower is elevated in a mechanical lift while blowing through the pipe to encourage the form to stretch, while another pulls the glass toward the ground.

The reeds are blown and annealed in a glass factory in Nuutajärvi, Finland. Unlike most factories, the Nuutajärvi facility has high ceilings and continuous-belt annealing ovens, which allows Chihuly to make these elongated forms.

Chihuly has made reeds in cobalt, turquoise, neodymium, yellow and a semi transparent orange (Autumn Reeds). He likes that they can be placed in a variety of environments, from gardens to galleries to architectural settings, as shown at Artis—Naples.

“In Finland we started making these long, cylindrical pieces that looked like spears,” Chihuly says. “This was an exciting new form. It was the first time we ever made anything like that. They are very strong pieces, and they are very dramatic.”

There are 145 hand blown/formed reeds in Red Reeds. Its overall dimensions are 123”h x 512”w x 21”d.

The museum’s permanent collection also includes three other large-scale Chihuly works: the monumental Blue Icicle Chandelier, which provides a dramatic greeting to visitors as they enter The Baker Museum lobby; Red Chandelier, ensconced majestically in Hayes Hall, where it reflects the light in various ways, creating a swirl of energy in the surrounding environment; and the magnificent Persian Seaform Ceiling, with glass panes spanning the length of an entire corridor on the third floor of The Baker Museum, sending vivid colorful patterns dancing across the walls and floors below as light filters in from above.

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