Addison Updates Archive

Chihuly Floats Join Addison Collection

On August 10, the Addison welcomed the newest addition to its sculpture collection – ten blown-glass spheres or “floats” by renowned artist Dale Chihuly. The sculptures were commissioned from the Chihuly Studio specifically for installation on the Addison’s green roof. Viewed from the Museum Learning Center in the Addison’s new Sidney R. Knafel Wing, the installation provides a dramatic counterpoint to the Center’s sweeping view of the Phillips Academy Great Lawn and Cochran Chapel. The sculptures were purchased with a generous gift from longtime Addison supporter R. Crosby Kemper, Phillips Academy class of 1945, in memory of his roommate, Harry C. Morgan. This is the first major permanent Chihuly installation in Massachusetts.

Chihuly was inspired to create the floats during a 1990s visit to Niijima, Japan, where glass spheres are used as floats for fishing nets. The Addison’s floats weigh between 15 and 35 pounds and range in size from 16 inches to 32 inches in diameter. The production of each sphere requires a choreographed production sequence involving about eight highly skilled studio assistants.

Black Niijima Floats joins the Addison’s collection of nearly 400 sculptures. Inside, Outside, Upstairs, Downstairs: The Addison Anew, the exhibition celebrating the Addison’s reopening after its two-year expansion and renovation, includes fifteen sculptures from the Addison’s permanent collection. The museum’s building project included expanding all the collection storage areas, and most of the sculpture collection – with the exception of several very large pieces – will now be stored at the museum.

Learn more about the Addison’s collection.