Go to navigation (press enter key)Menu

Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library
Vassar College
October 11 - November 22, 2015

Admission is Free Reservations Required For Public Viewings

Vassar College is pleased to present the United States premiere of Ulysses Cylinders , by Dale Chihuly and Seaver Leslie with Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick. This collaborative exhibition combines magnificent glass sculptures created by renowned artist Dale Chihuly, with pen and ink drawings by painter Seaver Leslie.

These blown glass vessels were created with imagery inspired by James Joyce’s famed novel Ulysses , and have previously been shown only at Dublin Castle in Ireland in the summer of 2014. Ulysses Cylinders explore themes pertinent to a recounting of occurrences from a single day in Dublin as described in the text.

The Cylinders , first created in 1975, were among the first glass works in Chihuly’s oeuvre. A new technique was developed to fuse glass thread “drawings” on to cylindrical vessels while in their molten state. In 2013, Chihuly and painter Seaver Leslie, together with artists Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick, decided to revisit this body of work, focusing on Joyce’s Ulysses as the sole inspiration.

Working with Leslie’s pen and ink drawings, Mace and Kirkpatrick created fragile glass drawings which Chihuly and his team then fused onto forty-five individual cylinders speckled with gold leaf. By applying Leslie’s adapted drawings to simple cylindrical forms, Chihuly offers a series of visual portals into Joyce’s narrative. This new body of work is a revelation in its simplicity, and it pays homage to the intricate novel.

James Joyce’s Ulysses: Text and Art, an exhibition from Vassar’s Archives & Special Collections, features volumes of the book illustrated by Henri Matisse, Robert Motherwell and Eric Gill. Organized as a companion to Ulysses Cylinders , the books outline the history of Joyce’s text and show the role of artistic interpretation.

Mary-Kay LombinoThe Emily Hargroves Fisher '57 and Richard B. Fisher Curator and Assistant Director for Strategic PlanningFrances Lehman Loeb Art Center

Previews for Alumnae/i and Current Parents

October 10

The College will host a private viewing of the exhibitions with lectures by Michael Murray / Professor of Philosophy Emeritus entitled Censorship and the Arts: A Conversation on James Joyce’s Ulysses, and by Abby Bender ’96 / Assistant Professor at NYU on An Epic of Two Races: Jewish and Irish Identity in Joyce’s Ulysses. At lunch, guests will be seated in class clusters and with fellow parents.

October 17

On Saturday, a private viewing with lectures and lunch will be held for members of the classes of 1965, 1967, 1968 and 1969. Heesok Chang / Associate Professor of English will speak on Books and Cylinders: Seeing and Reading Ulysses. Ron Patkus / Director of Special Collections will speak on James Joyces Ulysses : Text and Art Classes will be seated together for lunch in private dining rooms.

Shuttle service will be provided on October 10 and 17 at specific times from the Poughkeepsie Metro North Station to the College, and back after the program.

Preview for Vassar Campus

Tuesday, October 20
Thompson Memorial Library
Lecture - 5:00 p.m.

Books and Cylinders Seeing and Reading Ulysses
Heesok Chang
Associate Professor of English
Class of 1951 Reading Room

Viewings - 5:45 p.m.

Ulysses Cylinders By Dale Chihuly and Seaver Leslie with Flora C. Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick & James Joyce’s Ulysses: Text and Art

This exhibition will be open to the public daily from 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., with admission by reservation only, in order to control the number of visitors to the library during any given hour. Members of the Vassar Community are asked to visit the exhibition before or after the time allocated for public viewing. To register for a viewing with family and friends at another time, register here.