In the garden at Chihuly Garden and Glass

In the garden at Chihuly Garden and Glass

I’ve spent the past 10 days taking my sister and her husband to some of my favorite places in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.  Audrey’s vacation priorities were family and National Parks, but before heading off on a couple of road trips, she wanted to spend the first day after their arrival in Seattle recovering from jet lag.  The highlight of our day out and about Seattle was our visit to Chihuly Garden and Glass, which showcases the work of glass artist, Dale Chihuly.  It is located at the base of the Space Needle at the Seattle Center.  When we arrived, workers were cleaning up from the annual Bumbershoot Festival.  (Bumbershoot is another name for umbrella.)

Bumbershoot Alley at the Seattle Center

Bumbershoot Alley at the Seattle Center

Two of my favorite spaces are the Persian Ceiling Room and the Glass House inside Chihuly Garden and Glass.  My sister liked the gardens outside, where glass sculptures are artfully placed next to a diverse selection of colorful plants.

Sculpture in the Sealife Room

Sculpture in the Sealife Room

Persian Ceiling with reflections on the wall

Persian Ceiling with reflections on the wall

Detail, Persian Ceiling

Detail, Persian Ceiling

Mille Fiori Room

Mille Fiori Room

Chandelier

Chandelier

Macchia Forest Room

Macchia Forest Room

Glass House

Glass House

Garden outside

Garden outside

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View of the Seattle’s Space Needle from Chihuly Garden and Glass

The garden part of Chihuly Garden and Glass is varied, colorful, and as visually arresting as the glass sculptures inside.  I tried to pay particular attention to the juxtaposition of the plants and art, and I imagine that there will be new points of interest as the flowers, foliage, and trees move through their seasonal changes.

Lily with orange glass forest

Blue spires and fallen logs

Greens in foliage and glass

Detail, garden sculpture

Silvery leaves and glass ball with metallic colors

In the garden at Chihuly Garden and Glass

Glass like a vine

And glass like a slender tree trunk

Chihuly Garden and Glass sculptures among the plants

Detail, blue glass in the garden

The price of admission included a return ticket to the garden in the evening.  We were tempted to skip the evening return visit, but we were so glad we made the effort to go back.  At night, the garden is a magical place.  The sculptures are lit and create an enchanted atmosphere.

Glass House at night. Lighting shows off the 100-ft. suspended sculpture.

New view of the Seattle Space Needle

Hall of chandeliers by the outdoor patio

Chihuly Garden and Glass at night

Monumental outdoor sculpture, Chihuly Garden and Glass

In the garden at night

Glowing glass sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Glasshouse at Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle

My sister and her husband were visiting from Wisconsin, and while playing tourist in Seattle, I finally went to see the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum that opened earlier this year.  The exhibition surpassed my expectations.  I’m sure it will become a top tourist site for Seattle, but like the Pike Place Market, it should also be a go-to destination for those of us who live here.  I’ll be returning, especially if they host special exhibits from time to time.

Some of the Chihuly pieces on display at Chihuly Garden and Glass are familiar, like old friends.  The Northwest Room was similar to the exhibit I saw at the Tacoma Art Museum in June 2011.  The Persian Ceiling feels similar to the Bridge of Glass in Tacoma.  But there were many, many new pieces too.  I loved how room opened upon room, each stunning in a new way.  Here’s a virtual tour:

Glass Forest

The Northwest Room

Glass baskets in the Northwest Room, inspired by Chihuly’s collection of Native woven baskets

Chihuly glass and his collection of Native trade blankets

Chihuly’s collection of Edward Curtis prints on the wall leading to the Sealife Room

Sealife Room

The Sealife Room opened into the room with the Persian Ceiling

Awestruck visitors take in the Persian Ceiling

Strategically placed benches allowed you to rest a while and immerse yourself in the art

The Persian Ceiling Room, with its reflections, was my favorite part of Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Doorway to the Milli Fiori Room

The glass sculptures were dramatically lit in the black room.

Detail, glass sculptures in Milli Fiori room

Detail, glass sculptures in the Milli Fiori room

Ikebana and Float Boat

Chihuly’s paintings are energetic and colorful.

Next, a room of glass chandeliers

Orange chandelier

Detail, chandeliers

Macchia Forest Room

Detail, glass sculpture in Macchia Forest Room

Glasshouse, Chihuly Garden and Glass

Tomorrow’s post will take you into the Garden.  Stay tuned!