Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Chihuly Garden and Glass, 7/01/2016

Located at the Seattle Center (next to the Space Needle), Chihuly Garden and Glass showcases fine art glass sculptures by world-renowned artist, Dale Chihuly (1941-). If you have never seen any of his work, you are in for a real treat when you visit this place. 

There are eight galleries, each with a different type of glass sculpture designs and each as beautiful as the first. 

Glass Forest: In collaboration with James Carpenter, an illustrator of botany, Chihuly created this design. The grass stalks/stems are illuminated by electrically-charged  neon and argon. 

Native America baskets and textiles along with Chihuly glass bowls of varying shapes, size, and design are in the next large gallery.

Sealife Room: The inspiration for the 15' Seallife Tower is Chihuly's love of the sea in general and the Puget Sound area in particular. Chihuly has been famous for his chandelier-style glass sculptures; the concept for the tower arose from those that could not not hang something that heavy from the ceiling of their residence or museum. There are many other interesting sculptures with marine life around the perimeter of the gallery.

Persian Ceiling: Chihuly began the Persian series in 1986. The glass sculptures rest upon a clear glass ceiling with lighting from above. This one was gorgeous. 

Mille Fiori, Italian for 1,000 flowers, is a spectacular display of glass sculptures inspired by Chihuly's mother's garden. Each gallery takes your breath away!

Ikebana and Float Boats: The glass sculptures in the two row boats in this exhibit were inspired by Chihuly's visit to Japan. The first has Ikebana (Japanese art) elements and the second was inspired by Japanese fishing net floats. The reflection against the mirrored floor in conjunction with the lighting was exquisite.

Chandeliers: Chihuly first displayed this series of work in 1992. We have seen his chandeliers in several other art museums during our travels. The Chandelier Walkway can be seen in the garden. 

Macchia Forest: This series started in the 1980s. In these sculptures the exterior and interior colors are different with a contrasting color around the lip...very beautiful.

The last interior gallery is the Glasshouse. The Glasshouse Sculpture is 100' long, suspended from the ceiling, with many individual "Persians." Beyond the Glasshouse are the gardens. 

The Gardens is a beautiful collection of flowers and glass sculptures. Here are some of what I really liked. Which is your favorite? 

A large gift shop offers a wide array of merchandise including small Chihuly pieces (priced from $5,000 to $12,000), many books on his life and work, and other art-related items. 

Admission is pretty steep: $27/adults; $22/seniors; $16/youth. It was worth it for us. 

For additional information about Chihuly Garden and Glass, check out:

A theatre shows videos of the process to create the beautiful Chihuly works of art. By 1980, Chihuly could no longer blow glass due to an injury to his shoulder. He hired others to do the work of blowing the glass while he continued to create the designs and manage the process. He describes his role as "more choreographer than dancer, more supervisor than participant, more director than actor." 

Over 200 museums around the world exhibit his work. Additionally he has had major exhibits in several historic cities and botanical gardens and continues to produce amazing glass sculptures. By 2005 he had earned over $30M. For more information about Chihuly, see

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