Back in July, The Community Library became the proud recipient of a large selection of glass cylinders created by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly.
The 23 cylinders depict scenes from James Joyce’s seminal 1922 novel “Ulysses.” Joyce’s groundbreaking and notoriously convoluted stream-of-consciousness narrative style helped usher in a new era of modernist English writing. A divisive work even in its time, “Ulysses” was famously lauded by Vladimir Nabokov as a “divine work of art,” and derided by Virginia Woolf as a “memorable catastrophe.”
The library’s exhibition of these cylinders will be displayed in the newly renovated foyer until Jan. 10. Since July, the library has already organized a number of programs and events around the cylinders, and will continue along that track in the coming months.
The next Chihuly program is Thursday, Oct. 17, at 4 p.m. This will be the first of several docent-led exhibition tours of the cylinders. Jody and Tom Beckwith will lead the first tour.
Looking toward the future, the library has already scheduled subsequent docent-led tours of the exhibition for Tuesday, Nov. 5, Tuesday, Nov. 26—two days before Thanksgiving—and Sunday, Dec. 29.
In addition to those tours, workshops, film screenings, lectures and more will all center on the cylinders, Chihuly and Joyce before the collection moves on to its next destination.
Chihuly is widely regarded as the premier glass artist on earth. He has honed his craft for more than 50 years and has redefined the boundaries of glassblowing technique. His works are often vibrantly colorful and massive in scale.
From out this body of work, the “Ulysses Cylinders” represent something of an artistic anomaly. Smaller in scale and far more uniform in appearance, they are also notably rare for telling a narrative, in this case Joyce’s famous novel.
The docent tour, like nearly every other library event, is free and open to the public. No registration or reservation is required to attend.