Learn about American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, and discover the most-popular sites to view his pieces.
All about Chihuly
Born in 1941, Dale Chihuly is considered one of the most-prominent and creative glass sculptors in America. A native of Tacoma, Washington, he was first introduced to the art of glass sculpting while studying interior design at the University of Washington. He later went on to study at the University of Wisconsin and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Years later he created the glass program at RISD and was a professor there for more than a decade.
In 1968, he headed to Venice to work at the Venini glass factory, where he saw firsthand how team glass blowing works. Afterward, in 1971, he co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle. This leads the glass-blowing art to newfound avant-garde status.
His work is showcased around the world in over 200 museum collections, and he has been the recipient of countless awards for his work. One of his best collections can be found in Seattle. For his exhibit in the Seattle Center, Chihuly chose artwork from his past collections as well as created new glass pieces.
Chihuly in Seattle
Chihuly Garden and Glass became a community gathering place in 2012 when it opened to the public. Also in the same year, it received the LEED Silver certification. Included in Chihuly Garden and Glass are the Exhibition Hall, the Glasshouse and the colorful Garden.
The Exhibition Hall is home to eight galleries, which you walk through and learn all about Chihuly’s life works. The jaw-dropping Glasshouse showcases a suspended 1,400-piece, 100-foot sculpture — its colors and shapes will leave you breathless. Last, but certainly not least, is the Garden, a magnificent and lush backdrop to all the installations. The Garden represents foliage and Mother Nature’s work. Tucked in between real bushes and trees, glass sculptures are erected to create a whimsical feel throughout.
Plan your visit
When visiting Seattle, the Chihuly Garden and Glass should not be missed. You can purchase your tickets either online (at a discounted price) or at the ticket counter of the exhibition (full price). Plan to have lunch at the Collections Cafè, where the menu is a blend of Northwest fare with a Mediterranean twist. During the weekend, brunch is served between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., making it the perfect place to grab a bite with family before touring the exhibits.