I really can’t think of anything more beautiful the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle, Washington. However I didn’t know much about it before my trip. I can honestly say that I went there just because I had a free ticket through the CityPass.
Swimming with the Fish in the Sealife Room
When I first saw the Sealife Tower by Chihuly, I was mesmerized by the enormous 15 ft tall glass sculpture in blues, whites, and yellows depicting fish and other sea creatures. The lighting and detail in the sculpture really make it seem like flowing water, but still very fragile. There is real movement in the piece. You can really tell this sculpture was inspired by the waters and living creatures of Puget Sound. Usually, his vertical sculptures are to be hung by the ceiling, but this one is different as it is mounted to the floor and extends upward.
Upward Gazing at the Persian Ceiling
The ceiling is a flat panel of clear glass that has vibrant colors of glass shapes that at first just look like they are haphazardly stacked on top of each other, but as you spend time in the room, you see more. The light that shines above the glass pieces leave beautiful patterns on the walls and draw you through the room spellbound.
The glass forest scene entitled Mille Fiori is Italian for a “thousand flowers” and was inspired by Chihuly’s mother’s garden. The glass installation fills up the entire room, and the vibrant colors of flowers and exotic plants make it mesmerizing to walk around and look at everything. Each section has its beauty and harmony. It truly looks like a garden that has been carefully planned out and nurtured.
Venetian Inspired Chandeliers
Chiluly created an amazing exhibit in the 1990s in Venice, Italy, where 14 sculptural glass chandeliers were placed in various locations in the city (most outdoor). The chandeliers at the museum were inspired from that project so I was really able to visualize how incredible that must have been to see these outdoors in the city lit by sunlight. They were in various sizes and colors and were beautiful lit and striking colors in this dark room.
Bowls Right Out Of The Ocean
After the chandeliers, the next room I visited had numerous large bowls of glass. These bowls were fluted and the color variation and depth was incredible. They looked like they could be formed by the ocean as part of a exotic creature’s shell.
The Centerpiece: Glass House
The Glass House, one of the most famous exhibits of the museum, is definitely a place to sit for a few minutes and gaze at the huge sculpture in reds, oranges, and yellow glass suspended from the ceiling. The glass and steel of the Glass House is made to allow as much light in as possible (even in Seattle’s weather) so visitors can see the light reflect off of the artwork and how it can change the colors of the glass in subtle ways. The sculpture is about 100 ft long and looks like it could have been in the ocean at one time as a coral reef or other ocean plant with flowy beautiful leaves.
Outdoor Beauty at the Glass Garden
The outdoor garden portion of the museum is just as impressive as the indoor exhibits. The Glass Garden features Chihuly’s glass sculptures in harmony with nature, and many of them look like they could be actual plants instead of glass.
The sizeable wild sculpture in front of the Glass House is the first exhibit I saw in the garden, and it was a great introduction to the rest of the garden.
Blue icicle towers, curvy glass scuptures, and glass spheres among the daffodils, purple flowers, and greenery both contrasted and complemented the nature around them.
Some of the areas of the garden almost looked vegetation from another world as they rose from from the ground. I almost expected them to move around and bite something.
Another fascinating part of the museum was the live demos of glass blowing in a little Airstream trailer. They would talk through the process of making the glass artifacts, and it was a great demo.
Space Needle Looms Above
The Space Needle is right next the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, hovers over it majestically, and was the next item on my list to visit.
- “Chihuly Garden and Glass.” Chihuly Garden & Glass, 21 June 2019.