Chihuly Glass Museum in Seattle

A Wander Around Seattle’s Prized Glass Museum

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I’ve spent the entire last week penning museum copy for a city in which I don’t live, and while that’s pretty par for the course in my line of work, it reminded me of how much I really don’t enjoy traditional museums. But wacky, out-of-the-box museums like Chihuly Garden and Glass? For those, I am willing to change my tune.

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

I’m heading back to Seattle next month and am very excited as I had such a blast on my last trip in November with the Microsoft team. Aside from giving us an in-depth look at the Microsoft campus, they also gave us a pretty thorough tour of the city itself, for which I was grateful as I’ve only been to Seattle on four quick visits in the past, none of them long enough to get a real taste of the city.

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

Many of you are probably already familiar with Washington-born glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. He has permanent collections in more than 25 U.S. states, as well as exhibits in Europe, the Middle East and Canada. But his eponymous Seattle museum showcases some of his best creations.

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

His work is truly remarkable—the centerpiece being the 40-foot tall, glass and steel structure covering 4,500 square feet of light-filled space in the Glasshouse—and spans eight galleries. I was particularly fond of the Chandeliers series below.

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

Plus, it’s whimsical. If I’m going to opt to go to a museum, I want to make sure it’s full of fun, color and whimsy. Chihuly hits all three of those notes.

Visiting the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle
Visiting the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

Plus, it’s borderline child-like. How much does this make you feel like Ariel, floating along in an underwater landscape? I don’t know about you but I’ve always wanted to channel a Disney princess, and the Mille Fiori—Italian for “a thousand flowers,” a throwback to Chihuly’s time in Florence on a Fulbright scholarship—made me feel just that.

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle
Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle
Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle
Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

The small hallway that included bits of blown glass trapped in the Persian Ceiling exhibit, giving the space a rainbow glow, might have been my favorite.

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle
Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

But the museum doesn’t end with the interior. The gardens that overlook the Space Needle right next door are equally as gorgeous.

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

We ended our time in the museum with lunch in Collections Cafe. Traditionally, museum cafes do not tend to have the best food (in my opinion), but wow, this meal blew me away.

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle
Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

It’s like they read my mind with this chocolate chip cookie bourbon caramel dessert. All my favorite things in one dish!

Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle

COMMENTS
  • March 21, 2014
    SVV

    Great shots!

  • March 21, 2014

    These are just gorgeous!! I love Chihuly and have, on several occasions, booked trips to see some of his installations. I can see I’ll definitely need to add this museum to my list!

    xox

    • March 21, 2014

      You do, you do! It seriously might top the list of my favorite museums. I don’t really enjoy fine arts, but I love contemporary, photography or “experience” art (as this surely is) and anything that’s mildly interactive (like the National Civil Rights Museum).

  • March 22, 2014

    I didn’t pay to see the Chihuly Garden because I have seen quite a few of his works. But now your photos make me definitely want to see it next time. Impressive!

    • April 10, 2014

      Yeah, I definitely think it’s worth the price (and this from a non-museum girl, too).

  • March 24, 2014

    You know, I’m ashamed to admit that I am from Washington State originally, and have never been to the Chihiuly museum. These pictures are stunning though! I think I will definitely have to pay it a visit next time I’m home!

    • April 10, 2014

      Understandable. I’m from the Nashville area and only went to the Country Music Hall of Fame for the first time last year as a 30 year old! It seems we never bother being tourists in our own city.

  • March 24, 2014

    GORGEOUS!!!!!!! Reminds me so much of The Atlantis.

  • March 25, 2014

    This is so cool. I love it. If I’m down your way I’ll definately look into this weird and wacky museum!

  • March 31, 2014

    Some very nice shots! I really enjoyed Seattle when I was there, although by the time I left I was a little sick of grey days and rain! The glass blowing demos were really interesting, apparently they very often get ‘guest’ blowers in to demonstrate certain techniques etc..

    • April 10, 2014

      Same! I’ll be back in Seattle later this month and am praying the city actually gets spring =)

  • April 3, 2014

    That exhibit (and the dessert at the end 😛 ) was spectacular!

  • April 8, 2014

    Wow. I’ve never seen anything like that before. I can’t imagine how long it takes to create all of those!

  • April 9, 2014

    Wow! I didn’t realize he had a whole museum of his stuff. I’ve seen his work at the Atlantis and at the Borgata in Atlantic City.

    • April 10, 2014

      Worth the trip alone! It really was like being in a dream world.

  • April 9, 2014

    I love Chihuly! I saw an exhibit in San Francisco and it was just magical! Reminded me of a Dr. Suess world. Makes from some great photos and you have some really nice shots here!

    • April 10, 2014

      Funny, we were just eating at a Mexican restaurant of all places while in Austin last weekend, and I noticed the big chandelier centerpiece was one of his. Now I’m going to see him everywhere! And yes, Seussian for sure.

  • April 25, 2014

    Can you believe I brought my boys there!? Thankfully my aunt and uncle were there too, so I had extra hands. Dek was almost 3 at the time and Ty was in the stroller thing goodness. Not sure I could keep Ty from jumping into the glass-filled boat this time!

  • May 29, 2014

    Psychadelic! How big are the ‘Don’t Touch’ signs…? Korea and Thailand have had some weird museums as well – a recent one was actually a guy’s house that had all kinds of horns and leather… Let’s just say Game of Thrones could’ve used it as a set.

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