Chihuly Garden and Glass: Seattle’s most unique museum

Chihuly Garden & Glass Seattle - LiveRecklessly.com

It’s no secret that Seattle has more than its fair share of rainy days. Luckily, the city is also packed with world class museums and galleries, which happen to be the perfect retreat from the cold and drizzle.

On a recent visit, with a belly full of brunch and desire to seek shelter from the elements, I headed to Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Be warned, this is not your average museum.

In fact it might just be one of Seattle’s most interesting and unique galleries.

Standing at the foot of the Space Needle at the Seattle Center, Chihuly Garden and Glass showcases the work of renowned Washington-based artist Dale Chihuly – who I learned is one of the most successful and innovative blown glass artists of our time. His pieces are featured in over 200 museum collections across the globe. I guess he’s kind of a big deal.

While I knew very little about Chihuly, or glass art for that matter, I was blown away by this exhibit. Blown… Get it?

Chihuly Garden and Glass

The first part of the exhibition leads you through a series of dark rooms to emphasise the glass works as the centerpiece. From small and intricate pieces to large scale glass sculptures it’s a stimulating, sensory overload.

Enchanted-looking rooftops, ginormous chandeliers and towers, dramatic installations of sea life. Fun, vibrant and full of colour!

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass

One of my favourites was the whimsical Mille Fiori – Italian for ‘A Thousand Flowers’.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Or the Chandeliers.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Or the boats!

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Look at that detail! If I had a dollar for each time I burst out with ‘WOW!’ as I entered a new room… well, I’d probably have enough to pay for another admission ticket!

While the colours and shapes indoors were spectacular, my favourite moment arrived at the conservatory. Known as The Glasshouse, it features an expansive 100-foot long sculpture – one of Chihuly’s largest suspended sculptures!

Chihuly Garden and Glass

It’s a striking space and I love how the room visually connects the nearby Space Needle. I could see this being the perfect reception venue for brides-to-be who are flushed with cash!

Chihuly Garden and Glass

The weather cleared just in time to wander through the final part of the exhibition, where Chihuly’s creations are featured within the sculptured gardens.

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass

Chihuly Garden & Glass

If I could offer one critique, as a total novice to the art of glassblowing I would have valued a bit more of an emphasis on the techniques involved, in addition to the great focus on the artist himself.

Chihuly Garden & Glass is an impressive museum and will definitely be my ‘go to’ when showing my friends and family around the city.

Have you visited Chihuly Garden and Glass? Do you have a unique local gallery that is your go-to when friends visit?

Read more from Live Recklessly: My favourite Seattle Museums, A weekend in Portland, Oregon, A getaway to San Juan Island.

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Chihuly Garden and Glass is one of Seattle's most fascinating and beautiful galleries. Definitely check it out!- LiveRecklessly.com

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