Dale Chihuly is an internationally celebrated personality in contemporary art and design whose prominence in the field of contemporary studio glass is unmatched. Chihuly’s early artistic training was in textiles, which he studied as an undergraduate at the University of Washington in Seattle, but by the time he began his graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, he had switched to glass. In 1969, Chihuly became head of what would become a leading glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and in 1971 he was a founder of Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State, another important center for contemporary studio glass. Working at RISD in 1975 and 1976, Chihuly devised a decorative technique in which he picked up colored glass threads on the surface of a cylindrical glass vessel during the blowing process. The patterns of the glass threads were inspired by old Navajo blankets from the American Southwest, and vintage Pendleton trade blankets made in the Pacific Northwest, which Chihuly personally collected. This series of vessels was called the “Navajo Blanket Cylinders.” In 1995 and again in 2006, Chihuly made a new series of tall glass vessels, first in bright pink and then in black, based on the mid-1970s Navajo blanket cylinders. Flora Mace, who made many of the early glass thread designs, rejoined Chihuly, with her partner, Joey Kirkpatrick, to make the thread drawings for both of the recent series. This cylinder was given to the Museum in memory of Thomas S. Buechner, Chihuly’s longtime friend, to complement the Museum’s excellent collection of early cylinders donated by the Ben W. Heineman Sr. Family in 2005. Signed “Chihuly” on exterior wall. For more information on this series by Chihuly, see Barbara Rose, Chihuly: Black, Seattle: Portland Press, 2008. For the history of the Navajo cylinders, see Tina Oldknow, Voices of Contemporary Glass: The Heineman Collection, Corning: The Corning Museum of Glass, 2009, pp. 57–58 and 92–107.