A Chihuly Take on Collecting Things

August 22, 2012

“Choice is the holy-making stuff of life.”
— Joan Chittister, Following the Path: The Search for a Life of Passion, Purpose, and Joy

“In a way, anyone who collects things in the privacy of his own home is a curator.  Simply choosing how to display your things, what pictures to hang where, and in which order your books belong, places you in the same category as a museum curator.”
— Brian Selznick, Wonderstruck

Accordions from Dale Chihuly’s personal collection hang from the ceiling in the cafe at Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Accordions and Chihuly’s paintings

The Cafe at Chihuly Garden and Glass holds its own as a place of interest.  Called the “Collections Cafe,” it showcases 28 of Dale Chihuly’s personal collections.  And what a varied array of collections it holds — accordions, clocks, lemon juicers, and more.  We had already seen parts of Chihuly’s personal collections of Native trade blankets, Native baskets, and Edward Curtis photographs in the Northwest Room of the glass exhibits.  But the collections in the cafe show another side of Chihuly — one wonders what the appeal of the objects had to Chihuly’s artistic eye.

I find it fascinating that Chihuly, a prolific and accomplished glass artist, is also an avid collector of — in many cases — quite ordinary, inexpensive objects.  Every collector is a curator, too, and his collections are another aspect of self-expression.  You can read more about Chihuly’s personal collections in this Seattle Times article.

In the Collections Cafe, most of Chihuly’s collections are cunningly displayed under glass table tops.  Quite ingenious!

Cafe table showcasing a collection of wooden toy furniture

This table displays an assortment of lemon juicers.

Cafe table with clock collection





8 Responses to “A Chihuly Take on Collecting Things”

  1. rachelynne Says:

    O my goodness! That is so neat! I love the way all of the collections are inside something functional. I would absolutely love to see this someday.

  2. Chris Says:

    Wow, who would of thought to display the collections in glass topped dining tables…very cool!! I especially like the lemon juicers…as I like old things anyway and as always, your photos are so artistic!!
    I am a collector too and now find my home too overstuffed with them….maybe I’ll find a diner and do the same! 🙂

  3. melanyrae62 Says:

    Wow, I had no idea he collected anything at all, let alone accordions! My kinda guy : ) I used to collect antique children’s books, but once you learn the fine points of the object being collected, it becomes very expensive (unless you’re Dale Chihuly apparently.) Had to give it up. Will just have to live it vicariously through Mr. DC

  4. littlefashionistas Says:

    Such an original place! I’ve never seen anything like that 😉

  5. shoreacres Says:

    The Brian Selznick quotation about curation is wonderful. I’ve had a piece about my own collecting just sitting around, waiting, and that quotation was like a key in the lock. I may be able to write it now.

  6. […] A Chihuly Take On Collecting Things on Rosemary’s Blog This is my favorite post of the week. A really unique sight. Anything that […]

  7. silla Says:

    indeed its very ingenious idea to display your favorite collections in glass topped tables

  8. […] A Chihuly Take on Collecting Things, August 22, 2012 […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: