Dale Chihuly's 'Campiello del Remer, Ireland' // 'Adagio for Glass Armonica in C major' by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
When looking at Dale Chihuly's 'Campiello del Remer, Ireland,' you might be surprised to see cut crystal. Chihuly is known for using vibrant and expressive colors in his works, showcasing the wondrous possibilities of colored glass. While the shapes are entrancing, they seem almost frozen mid-movement. Do they look like jellyfish tentacles to you? Or maybe icicles melting?
One of the United States' founding fathers was also entranced by glass. During his time serving in Europe as a delegate for colonial America in the mid 18th century, Benjamin Franklin attended several performances by amateur musicians playing “singing” musical glasses. Inspired, Franklin invented the glass armonica — Italian for “harmony” — in 1761. By arranging a chromatic set of spinning glass bowls sideways over a water basin, this new invention made it possible to play more complex music on glass.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote this lovely Adagio in 1791, the final year of his life, for German glass armonica player Marianne Kirchgässner. While listening, notice how the glass creates a clear, resonant, and bright tone, sparkling much like how glass refracts light.
Want to explore more music inspired by artwork in the Kemper Museum Permanent Collection? Listen to our Spotify playlist for full pieces.
Find more information about Dale Chihuly's 'Campiello del Remer, Ireland' on the Kemper's website.
You can find out more about the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art at kemperart.org.
View the full Kemper Museum Permanent Collection here.