One of Seattle's newest museums, the Chihuly Garden and Glass is a colorful, delightful, and impeccably designed oasis tucked in the shadow of the Space Needle at Seattle Center, which is going through a bit of a renaissance itself.
Stop by for a cruise through the exhibition, a compact series of galleries featuring highlights of local and world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly's work.
My personal favorite is the Northwest Room, the first main gallery, which highlights early works by Chihuly that were inspired by Native American arts such as basketry and weaving. In addition to the glass art, many of Chihuly's personal collection of Pendleton Indian trade blankets cover almost a whole wall in this room, and another wall features historic Edward S. Curtis photographs of Native Americans.
And I am as awed by the stunning piece of wood that serves as a foundation for some glass work in the Northwest Room as I am awed by the art. I can only imagine the size of the old growth tree it came from.
Progressing through the eight galleries, the colors and shapes get more elaborate and fanciful, reflecting Chihuly's evolution as an artist who continues to get commissions from around the globe.
|The Glass Forest, one of Chihuly's earliest installations from 1971.|
|Native American basket and Chihuly glass work in Northwest Room|
|Detail of a Tower in the Sealife Room.|
|Glass balls blown in Finland for the Chihuly Over Venice exhibit.|
A visit isn't complete without a stroll through the Glass House, inspired by two of Chihuly's favorite buildings - Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and the former Crystal Palace in London, and then the garden. Alas my shots here are from a particularly drab and dreary Seattle winter day. I'd like to be here just before sunset.
|Looking skyward in the Glass House. Recognize the famous Seattle landmark?|
When You Go
The Chihuly Garden and Glass is open seven days a week, from 11 am to 6 pm, and until 7 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. Adult tickets are $26. Click here for more details. They also have lots of cool special events (check their website).