On a recent visit to Seattle, Washington, I spent a morning at the spectacular Chihuly Garden and Glass. Located adjacent to the Space Needle, the exhibition is convenient to other attractions in downtown Seattle. All glasswork in the exhibition was created by Dale Chihuly. His glass pieces are stunningly beautiful. Chihuly's creativity is expressed through an array of work that includes single pieces and assemblages. Many of the glass pieces appear to be inspired by nature as well as Chihuly's imagination.
The exhibition consists of eight galleries, a glass house, and garden. Each of the galleries are themed and range from pieces based on Native American arts to wildly colorful assemblages of forms, color, and texture. The glass house features floral glassworks suspended from the curved ceiling and the garden features glass spheres and stalks of glass, among other forms, intermingled with beautiful plantings.
It is difficult to actually describe the form of many of Chihuly's pieces. They have to be witnessed in person and perceived in three dimensions. Some are elegantly simple while others are a riot of form and texture. Intricate patterns within individual pieces can lead one to quietly contemplate the creativity and beauty within.
Let's take a look at a sampling of visual treats.
The Garden consists of a mixture of beautiful plantings interspersed with glass pieces. Parts of the garden are more open while others are more densely populated with vegetation. I found the areas of the garden that were lush and exhibited the slender glass forms to be the most enchanting. The magical feel was present throughout the garden with its array of color and shapes.
Eight Galleries include glass exhibits and three drawing walls. The exhibits vary tremendously in their layout and glass works. Some rooms contain single displays that include numerous glass pieces, while others exhibit several pieces that are part of a coherent theme. Sea life and nautical themed glass work are displayed in a couple of areas, one being the boat exhibit and another being an ocean-inspired chandelier.
Another gallery contains an enormous abstract display in the center of the room that holds many glass pieces. Colors, light, and all kinds of glass shapes give the visitor infinite possibilities of experiencing the exhibit.
One of the most mesmerizing areas of the exhibit is the glass ceiling. It contains multicolored pieces that capture one's attention and lead the eye throughout the room. Identifiable shapes are shown against a backdrop of rippled and wavy pieces, all of which are illuminated to maximize the beauty, form, and colorful patterns that change with viewpoint.
One of the galleries displayed several pieces that were of flower-like form and illuminated from the bottom. Each flower had a unique set of colors and patterns. They are strikingly beautiful as single items or viewed collectively.
This post was written to provide a taste of the visual treats available at the Chihuly Garden and Glass. I intentionally showed only little snippets and did not include example images of the entire exhibit - those are for you to explore and enjoy if you choose to visit this gem.
Photographers who visit during normal hours should be aware that tripods are not allowed. Special events are held for photographers during which tripods can be used. Images taken at Chihuly Garden and Glass may be shared, but not sold. Contact the museum directly for information on their photo policy.
For more information on the exhibit, hours, special events, Dale Chihuly, and other topics, you can visit the museum's website by clicking on the button below.