I love blown glass! My husband and I have three blown pieces of art glass at home sitting on our fireplace mantle, which I absolutely adore. I love their vibrant colors of bright tangerine orange, teal blue, and lime green. I admire their bold shapes and movement in their form. They are so elegant yet modern. Glass is such a fantastic medium to work with. I have always wanted to try glass blowing as an art form, but just haven’t got to it yet. Some day! Fortunately, here in San Jose, we have a Glass Foundry where I can take classes.
This is my son Domenic. He loves to photo bomb! So I though I would indulge you in a few of his crazy photos while I was happily photographing this wonderful museum. BTW…the museum states that photograph is allowed. Thank you Chihuly Garden and Glass!
On occasion, I have seen pieces of the stunning fine art glass by the great artist Dale Chihuly. I have never seen an entire exhibit at the numerous museums worldwide that proudly display his artwork. Furthermore, I have never visited the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas where the entire ceiling of the entry is covered with his magnificent blown glass. So when my son and I were planning our college tour to Seattle, Chihuly Garden and Glass was on our itinerary!
Opened in 2012, at the base of Seattle’s famed Space Needle in the Seattle Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass is an indoor and outdoor permanent exhibit of Dale Chihuly’s blown glass installations. Some of the installations are from previous works and much of it was created specifically with this new space in mind. The museum consists of 8 galleries, the drawing Walls, the glass house, and the outdoor garden.
If you don’t already know about Dale Chihuly, he is the undisputed rock star of fine art blown glass. He was born in 1941 in Tacoma Washington and attended University of Washington where he studied interior design. While at UW, he was introduced to glass blowing. After graduation, Dale went to study glass blowing at the University of Wisconsin. He later transferred to Rhode Island School of Design where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade. After receiving the Fullbright Fellowship in 1968, Dale went to Venice to study glass blowing at the Venini Glass Factory. It was here where Dale observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today.
Dale moved home to the Pacific Northwest after his time in Venice. And in 1971 Dale cofounded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. This international glass center has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as fine art.
Over the course of his career, Dale’s artwork has been included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide, has been the recipient of numerous awards, including 11 honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been commissioned for many permanent installations including an outside installation over the canals and piazzas of Venice and an additional outside installation in Jerusalem.
Dale has created many installations in botanical gardens the world over where he has visited numerous large and exquisite glass houses. These glass houses have inspired Dale and he grown an affinity for them. When designing the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, he knew he wanted to incorporate a glass house, which has become the centerpiece of the museum. The glass house is 40 feet tall and encompasses 4,500 square feet. The suspended installation incorporates 1,400 individual pieces of blown glass.
“I want my work to appear as though it came from nature so if someone found it…they might think it belonged there.” Dale Chihuly
When I stood in the center of the glass house and looked up at the magnificent art that was suspended above my head, I was humbled by the immense talent, the sheer size of it, and the impact it visually possesses. The quantity of hours that it must have taken to create this beautiful artwork is unfathomable. It is truly a joyous thing to behold!
I was so engrossed in looking at all the magnificent artwork at this museum. I became enraptured with the forms and their color intensity, which left me speechless by their beauty. In one gallery the installation was an underwater wonderland, and in the next gallery a field of Dr. Suess-like flower forms, and in another a collection of chandeliers that was intertwined with octopus, starfish, and conch shells. The outside gardens were beautifully planted and meticulously cared for. The garden beds were juxtaposed with Dale’s blown glass in coordinating colors, complimentary colors, metallic glass, reflective spheres, small and large, yet all bold and anthropomorphic. The works of art were truly stunning!
If you find yourself in Seattle please visit this fantastic museum. Visitors of all ages will find great enjoyment in this exceptional treasure that calls Seattle home.
The museum is open 7 days a week. Please check the website for hours and further confirm with the museum for any scheduled closures for special events.
Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum
305 Harrison Street
Seattle, WA 98109
A combined ticket for the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum and the Space Needle can be purchased. Tickets can be purchased at the museum and online.