On a recent trip to visit his alma mater, the Rhode Island School of Design, my friend Simon told me stories of his youth as we passed certain sites. For example, in an alley behind the foundry building, Simon told me that as a freshman, he’d passed a man shoveling pieces of glass into a wheelbarrow. Simon asked if he needed any help, yes, and so he wound up shoveling and carting the load for the man. At which point the man asked Simon if he’d like to be his assistant. “No, thanks,” said young Simon. “I’m a painting major.” The man, as Simon learned later, was Dale Chihuly, famed glass sculptor (and founder of RISD’s renowned glass art program) whose recent major retrospective at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (from which comes this dazzler) was pretty spectacular.