Dale Chihuly discusses struggles with mental health

The private studio of glass artist Dale Chihuly reflects his long obsession with collecting. Sheets of stamps cover one table; pocket knives are marshaled on another. Carnival-prize figurines from the first half of the 20th century line shelves that reach the ceiling.

Amid the ordered clutter, some items hint at more than Chihuly’s eclectic tastes: a long row of Ernest Hemingway titles in one bookcase, and in another an entire wall devoted to Vincent van Gogh — homages to creative geniuses racked by depression.

 

Chihuly, too, has struggled with his mental health, by turns fragile and luminous like the art he makes. Now 75 and still in the thrall of a decades-long career, he discussed his bipolar disorder in detail for the first time publicly in an interview with The Associated Press.

He and his wife, Leslie Chihuly, said they don’t want to omit from his legacy a large part of who he is, but they were also motivated to speak in part by a $21 million demand letter they had received from a former contractor who claimed to have contributed to Chihuly’s art.
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