In Spring 2018, the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami will unveil what it hopes will become its signature installation: Dale Chihuly’s Mosaic Persian. The piece was originally commissioned in 1998 for husband-and-wife art collectors Dale and Doug Anderson. Made up of 32 glass elements, the Chihuly Studio will be redesigning the assemblage for the Lowe, where it will have a "relaunch" in a new configuration, 20 years after its initial creation.
Jill Deupi, the Lowe's arts director and chief curator, calls the Andersons’ contribution “remarkable,” and believes it will be “truly transformative.” “Not only is their stunning Chihuly installation destined to become one of the Lowe’s signature works of art,” says Deupi in a prepared statement, “it will also highlight for our visitors the remarkable collections housed in our Myrna and Sheldon Palley Pavilion.”
The pavilion is being renovated for the Lowe’s upcoming “Year of Glass” and showcases works by prominent artists of the Studio Glass Movement, including Dante Marioni, William Morris, Therman Statom, Lino Tagliapietra, Howard Ben Tré, Toots Zynksy, and Dale Chihuly himself. The Lowe’s consulting curator of glass, Davira S. Taragin, says “Dale and Doug’s magnificent gift of their Mosaic Persian allows the Lowe to document Dale Chihuly’s leadership role since the last quarter of the twentieth century. This exquisite piece reflects the passage of blown glass from the confines of the small, precious object into the realm of large-scale contemporary sculpture. With works like this, Chihuly has established the blown glass form as an accepted vehicle for installation and environmental art.”
In a prepared statement, curator Deupi commends the Andersons’ choice to gift Lowe with Chihuly’s installation, believing it goes beyond a surface level. “We are deeply grateful to Dale and Doug for their generosity of spirit and their belief in the power of art to touch and change lives.” Dale and Doug are equally as satisfied with their decision. “When Davira introduced us to Jill, we immediately knew that we had found the right home for our Chihuly installation. Not only is the Lowe based in Florida, where we wanted the piece to remain, it also has notable collections of modern and contemporary art,” explains Doug. The original owners envision an evolution of the piece, and believe it’s possible at “a university art museum whose community is refreshed each year and where a diverse population of students are able to learn through the visual arts. Dale and I are delighted to be able to join our friends, Myrna and Sheldon Palley, in support of the Lowe and its director.”