The Chihuly Museum

The Chihuly Museum in Seattle displays a variety of the master’s colorful works that you might not have seen before.


We recently traveled to Seattle for a wedding. We used our free afternoon to visit the Chihuly museum. It showcases the various styles of the artist’s career in a beautiful setting.

Colorful creations hang from above. The singular colors make quite a statement.

Indigenous inspiration.

Dale Chihuly hails from Tacoma, Washington. One of his early inspirations was the work of the indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest.

Some of his glasswork shows similar patterns to that of basketry made by the tribes.

One room of the museum was dedicated to sea life. Wonderful colors seen above remind me of Venetian beads.

The Orlando Museum of Art has a similar piece in a gallery minus the orange sea creatures.

Preliminary sketches hang on the walls of the sea life room.

After suffering a shoulder injury and reduced sight, Chihuly drew his ideas. Artisans used them to fabricate the works.

Garden inspiration.

His mother’s garden inspired him frequently.

I would have loved to have seen a photo of her garden.

The artist has his own garden, however, with the museum. His creations seem to grow from the ground beneath.

The museum is located right next to the Space Needle. This pink sculpture looked a bit like rock candy.

Numerous gazing balls of different patterns nestle into the low plants.

This ground cover first appeared to be decorative and not real.

A flower garland floats overhead inside the atrium.

Chihuly’s Macchia Forest was inspired by stained glass and his desire to use a multitude of colors all in one work. Realizing that colors were intensified on a grey day versus a blue one, the artist begin using a white in between layer called a “cloud”. He added a colored rim as the final touch for an additional hue.

My favorite work was Winter Brilliance, 2015, commissioned by the now closed Barneys New York for their holiday windows. The artist said of this form which he began developing in 1996:

Ice is one of my favorite materials to work with because of the way it interacts with light. It inspired me to create the icicle form. 

-Dale Chihuly

Glassblowers are on site showing how pieces are made. Those are then sold in the Space Needle gift shop with proceeds donating back to the arts community. There are numerous activities when visiting Seattle. The Chihuly Museum is definitely worth a trip.

Casa V Interiors is an Orlando based interior design firm.