Sunday, April 23, 2017

Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle, Washington


I have always been fascinated by art glass of all kinds ever since I visited a glass blowing factory in Murano, an island in Venice, Italy, as a teenager on a school trip. Over the years I became familiar with Dale Chihuly's beautiful studio glass sculptures after seeing his large and colorful art glass pieces on display through visits I made at the Corning Museum of Glass in upstate New York, the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In fact, Chihuly's glass works are part of over 200 museum collections world wide, plus as part of the decor of many diverse public venues and gardens, and continue to gather critical aclaim.  A few years ago I was fortunate to visit a magnificent outdoor exhibit of Chihuly art glass exhibit at the Denver Botanic Garden. It was the Rocky Mountain's regions first major exhibit of his work, and a wonderful success for the garden. You can read my blog post about this wonderful exhibit on this link.  So when my husband and I took a trip to Seattle, Washington, last autumn to celebrate our anniversary, I was excited to finally be able to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit located at 305 Harrison Street at the Seattle Center.  


(All photos in this post will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)



The 74 acre (30 ha) Seattle Center was originally built for the 1963 World's Fair and is an arts, educational, tourism and entertainment center in Seattle, Washington. It is home to the iconic landmark 605 foot (184 m) tall Space Needle tower, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass, which opened in 2012, which is located next to the tower.


After paying admission and entering the exhibit, you will see a series of panels that tell the interesting chronological story about Dale Chihuly's development as an artist. Born in 1941, in Tacoma Washington, he was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. He went on to study glass at the University of Wisconsin and the Rhode Island School of Design, In 1968 he received a Fulbright Fellowship and went to work at the Venini Glass Factory in Venice, where he learned the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971, Chihuly cofounded the Pitchuck Glass School in Washington State, which helped develop glass as a fine art medium.


The exhibits in the museum show a chronological significant series of his works in a comprehensive collection displayed in eight galleries and three Drawing Walls. The first work seen is called "The Glass Forest" and was a collaborative effort in the early 1970's.  The audio tour of the Chihuly Garden and Glass is online, and I will link each section of what I saw and photographed to their tour. You can listen to the audio description to the Glass Forest  here.


Chihuly was fascinated by Native American baskets and blankets and he began to represent this native work with glass vessels. To learn more about the objects in the Northwest Room here.


Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Dale Chihuly has a love of sea life and had a desire to show sea creatures moving in a glass medium.  To listen to more about the "Sealife Tower," click here.


The Persian Ceiling.  A plethora of bright and colorful hues ofswirling glass To listen to Dale Chihuly talk about this creation click here.



Looking up to the top of the Persian ceiling room. It's an amazing feeling to look up at all those backlit colors and see them reflected on the floor!


Chihuly said he was inspired by his mother's beautiful garden when he was growing up. This large sculpture filled an entire room. It was entitled "Mille Fiori," which means "A Thousand Flowers" in the Italian language and represents his mother's garden.



 As you can imagine this was my favorite work in the museum!  My husband and I spent quite a bit of time strolling around this exquisite work, noticing new elements in it each time.

Please click on to enlarge

Photos really don't do this large and beautiful exhibit justice, but I tried to photograph as much of this work as I could to show you as much of its elements as I could. 



You can listen to the audio tour description of Mille Fiori here.


In contrast to the colorful Mille Fiori sculpture, Chihuly next wanted to experiment with shades of white, alabaster, opaque and translucent glass, and he created this series of works called the "White Venetians."


If you click on to enlarge this photo you can see the translucent details within this glass sculpture. Truly exquisite!


The Chandelier Room was filled with what are now iconic Dale Chihuly chandelier sculptures in all shapes and colors. I have seen chandeliers like these in many places over the years, including the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey--click here--to see that post, and the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver--click here --to see that post. They are always spectacular and almost seem alive with all the individual pieces of glass that make up their components.



The detail in the pieces are amazing. To listen about the Chandelier Room click here.


The Macchia Room was inspired by new glass stain colors that Chihuly discovered in Germany.  The pieces are lined with white glass that left a spotted impression that Dale decided to call "macchia," which means "spotted" in Italian. To hear more about these flower like sculptures click here.


The Glass House exhibit is the cornerstone of Chihuly Garden and Glass. It is a 40 foot tall glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet (418 m), called the "Glasshouse." Hanging from the top is one of Chihuly's largest suspended sculptures.  The artworks vibrant autumn hued colors are ever changing with the light that flows into the glasshouse.


Looking up from the center  of the glasshouse we could see a view of the Space Needle standing outside.


To listen to more about the glasshouse sculpture click here.


Outside, leading into the garden exhibit, there was a corridor of Chihuly chandeliers hanging along a ceiling overhang. They looked like bright and dazzling flowers!



The entire Garden exhibit is about 26,000 square feet (2,415 m) in size. It has winding paths that bring one around the various gardens composed of live trees, shrubs and flowers along with the incorporated glass sculptures that are in different hues. This sculpture close to the Glasshouse is called the "Yellow Sun."




Look at how many pieces make up this amazing sculpture!


The autumn colors of the trees during our visit added to the overall beauty of the exhibit.


Some of the garden sculptures looked almost like actual plants....


...while others looked like pieces from a mystical fantasy! 


There were so many garden vignettes to enjoy.....


...as well as imposing ethereal towers of glass!

If you'd like to see videos about some of the other Dale Chihuly exhibts click here to see the video page on his official web site.


I was so happy to have had the opportunity to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit in Seattle, Washington to see his magnificent works in all their splendor. It truly was one of the highlights of our trip!  

We had a wonderful Easter and Spring is in full bloom here in Colorado. I'll bring you back to our trip to the Pacific Northwest in future posts, but I'd love to show you some historical sights in my own neighborhood on my next post--see you then!

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51 comments:

Ruth Hiebert said...

That was a fascinating tour as seen through your photos. Some of those displays are just gorgeous.

Michelle said...

His glasswork compositions are something to behold! I have seen them in previous years and I have always been enamored. My primary school art teacher had our students do some work representative of his.

happywonderer.com said...

Wonderful photos from the Chihuly Garden and Glass here in Seattle. You captured the colors so well!

The Furry Gnome said...

Spectacular! I've put that on our list!

Margaret Adamson said...

Stunning and so coourful. WOuld brightne up anyone's day

Maggie said...

Dear Pat, that was a wonderful tour, it left me breathless, I love the chandeliers! In 2015 the Quimper Faience Collectors Club held their annual meeting in Seattle and one of the excursions was to the Chihuly Garden, sadly I couldn't make the trip that year and now I really know what a treat I missed.
Thank you much for sharing your visit with the Mosaic Monday crowd this week.
Maggie

Tom said...

...what magical, colorful creations. Years ago I saw some of his work in a gallery, but I'd like to see a large installation. Thanks for sharing.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, it is an amazing exhibit. I love the colorful creations. The chandeliers and the glass building and ceiling is beautiful. The garden is lovely too. Thanks for sharing your visit. Lovely post! Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

Breathtaking! I am a huge Chihuly fan and saw his Toronto exhibit several times last year. I have also seen more of his works in various cities.

I was in Seattle before this opened/

Snap said...

Wow Wow and Wow! I'm a big fan of Chihuly. I haven't been back to Seattle in awhile ... I better get back to see the museum. Happy Monday!

Linda W. said...

Those glass sculptures are fantastic! Since Seattle is a short drive away, I must make plan to get up there and see this fabulous museum.

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Pat!
I really enjoyed your photos! I love his pieces and have seen a few, but an installation just opened at New York Botanical Gardens and we are going to see it, during the day and later at night for a Chihuly and Jazz night! I'll try to post some photos of it. If you are back in NYC this summer you might want to see it too! Have a great day and as usual, thanks for the fabulous post!
Linda

Rajesh said...

Beautiful and colourful art works. Simply amazing.

Vee said...

Enjoyed hearing Chihuly's description of his mother's garden. He has definitely created something "organic," but not necessarily imitative, "having a life of its own. 0" Until seeing the alabaster vases, I would have said that his work looks like it belongs in modern settings, but those vases are exquisite and I could find a home for one in my world. 🙃

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I loved going to the top of the Space Needle--on a very windy day--several years ago. Thanks for participating in Blue Monday!

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I've never been lucky enough to see his work in person. Your photos are fabulous in showing the beauty of his work.

Tamar SB said...

His work is just stunning!!

carol l mckenna said...

Chihuly is an amazing glass maker and you have captured his work so well ~ beautiful ~ thanks,

Wishing you a Happy Week ~ ^_^

Pamela Gordon said...

These exhibits are so stunning!! I especially like the Glass House one. I remember your previous posts sharing different works of his. They truly are amazing works of art. Thanks for sharing your visit to this museum Pat.

Lorrie said...

What an amazing artist! Such vibrant colours and interesting shapes. The Mille Fiori art piece looks stunning. A visit here is on my list if we ever get back to Seattle.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Like you, I've seen Chihuly installations around the world, but have never seen them at the Chihuly garden in Seattle. His work is simply stunning.

Pat Tillett said...

Wow! I've seen some pretty cool glass blown sculptures before, but they pale in comparison to this. One amazing group or item, after another. I've never seen any of it outside like this. Some people are so darn creative and talented. Great photos and narrative Pat. I love this post!

Rhonda Albom said...

The glass art at Chihuly garden and glass is remarkable. I particularly like the outdoor gardens and the glass house.

NC Sue said...

Stunning and beautiful! I'd love to visit some day.
Thank you for sharing these gorgeous shots at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2017/04/elvis-sighting-in-israel.html

Lady Fi said...

Wow - that glass is amazing. Such gorgeous works of art.

Pondside said...

We get down to Seattle often, as it is just a ferry tide away how I'd love to have met you there! I Haven't been to see the Chihuly glass exhibit but you have piqued my interest!

Pondside said...

We get down to Seattle often, as it is just a ferry tide away how I'd love to have met you there! I Haven't been to see the Chihuly glass exhibit but you have piqued my interest!

Molly said...

What a stunning exhibition, I love all the colours

Mollyx

colleen said...

Seeing his work is on my bucket list!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

He is a brilliant artist and a brilliant man to name that beautiful sculpture after your brilliant blog (kidding of course, but what a remarkable coincidence for you to stumble upon that room! I love it.)

Your pictures are stunning -- you really captured the feeling of seeing them in person -- wonderful job. Thanks for sharing.

Sarah said...

Late visiting from Mosaic Monday. '-)
I've seen Chihuly exhibits here in TX. They are amazing!

bettyl-NZ said...

Wow! What a great place to take photos! All the color and scenes are fun and lovely!

Karren Haller said...

I have always thought that the Chuhly glass art was inspired from the ocean, so beautiful!! Thanks you for sharing on Oh My Heartsie Girls WW this week! #OMHGWW
Have a great week!

Cheryl @ TFD said...

These stunning glass sculptures have left me nearly speechless. I am amazed at the artistry and beauty of each piece. I've never seen anything like this and I can only imagine how awesome they must be when seen up close. Your photos are wonderful, Pat, and I'll be back when I have more time to read about them. Thanks for sharing this visit with us! xx Cheryl

Lowcarb team member said...

My goodness Pat, what a lovely post and fantastic photographs. I love all the colourful creations.
The chandeliers, glass building and ceiling is just beautiful.
So to is the garden.
What a joy to read and see your post.

All the best Jan

Jim said...

What an amazing collection of glass. Beautiful.
Sydney – City and Suburbs

Shantana said...

What an interesting post. Greetings from Sydney!

Have a great weekend!

Shantana

Michelle said...

His work is so beautiful. Our second graders recreated two of his works from recycled materials and they hang in our school. He is truly an inspiration. Thanks for linking up today and have a great weekend.

Tanna said...

AH-MAZ-ing!!! so beautiful. Thank you, Pat!! blessings ~ tanna

Kayni D said...

Wow, this place is beautiful and it must have been exciting to see all these glass artwork. Thank you for sharing.

Louca por porcelana said...

F A B U L O U S !!!Thanks for sharing!

annie said...

Outstandingly beautiful.
Wonderful photos as always too

Jeanne said...

I also loved visiting this place and though the work there was amazing. Your article about this is great and very informative. photos are superb! Thanks for sharing

Jo said...

Chihuly is my favourite artist. I first came across his work at his Millenium exhibition in Jerusalem in 2000 and was totally bowled over by it. I loved reading this post and would *really* love to visit here. The chandeliers and floral works are amongst my favourites - that piece in the glasshouse - wow!
#Wkendtravelinspiration

Mother of 3 said...

OH my goodness!! That looks amazing. I love glass art and these photos were just beautiful. Pinned.

Jim Vail said...

Chihuly is amazing. I will definitely go out of my way to see his work. I haven't been to the Seattle exhibit, however. Thanks for sharing with the #wkendtravelinspiration!

Rambling Woods said...

Wow! That is amazing artistry . I have not seen anything so detailed as these pieces of art..Michelle

handmade by amalia said...

So enjoyed this. Such beautiful art from what I used to think of as a primarily practical material.
Amalia
xo

sassytownhouseliving said...

Oh my gosh! This display is amazing! I love anything made of glass and would love to go this exhibit too. You took some amazing photos wow! Thanks so much for sharing this magical world with those of us who didn't even know about it!

Michelle Leslie said...

Oh my soul Pat, that just stupendously gorgeous. It boggles my mind how exquisite some of these pieces are and the size, wow!!! Thank you so much for sharing your photos of the exhibit, they are stunning and I would love to see this in real life. Just WOW!!

Jann Olson said...

This glass art is breathtaking! I remember there being a piece of art like this at our Olympic venues. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
hugs,
Jann