Jundt Art Museum’s stunning Gonzaga Red Chandelier, paired with the surrounding glass sculptures within the Chancellor’s Room, bring a Dale Chihuly aesthetic unique to Gonzaga for students and university visitors — whether they are on a brief study break or simply taking a moment to appreciate beautiful, acclaimed artwork.
As Jundt Art Museum soon reopens, there will be even more unique, brightly colored and visually pleasing Chihuly sculptures on long-term display for the GU community and Spokane public to celebrate and admire. In a new custom lit case designed and built by Robin Dare, art handler/preparator for Jundt Art Museum, 15 glass sculptures will now join the Chancellor's Room Chihuly display.
Placed on custom shelves, the glass sculptures are displayed in front of black plexiglass, which further enhances and illuminates the unique color and form of each sculpture when paired with case lighting.
“They can twist and get either a spot of focus, or they can do more of a flood…it was a lot of trial going on in there,” Dare said.
The case’s black plexiglass, in tandem with its scattered shelf placement, makes the sculptures appear as if they are floating in space from the perspective of the viewer.
Dare said that researching the perfect materials for lighting for the case was a game of trial and error. The new case was inspired by a Chihuly display located at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, which has a similar black plexiglass feature.
Paul Manoguerra, director and curator of Jundt Art Museum, said displaying the remainder of the museum’s Chihuly sculpture collection has been a goal in progress for years.
The original Chancellor’s Room case, previously located in the same place as the new sculpture case, has been displaying Chihuly’s works since Jundt Art Museum’s opening in 1996. The original case has been shifted to a new location within the Chancellor’s Room.
“Given the prominence of the works by Chihuly, including this chandelier [The Gonzaga Red Chandelier] in the room, it just made sense to do the best we could to try to get them out,” Manoguerra said.
Manoguerra said that The Gonzaga Red Chandelier, the massive red glass installation in the center of the Chancellor’s Room ceiling, is a prominent and popular sculpture of Chihuly’s that makes Jundt Art Museum a significant landmark visit for Chihuly enthusiasts.
Having a new case filled with Chihuly works on display, Jundt Art Museum is an even more significant destination for visitors.
“This was a space that was always accessible,” Manoguerra said. “Doors were always open between us and the art department and students were just in here enjoying the aesthetics of the space, the chandelier [The Gonzaga Red Chandelier] and the view of the Spokane River.”
Students and community members are welcome to visit the new Chihuly case via appointment by calling (509) 313-6611 to schedule.