Whether you know the name Chihuly or not, you’ve probably seen his glass sculptures on display somewhere, whether a chandelier hanging in a lobby or his glass blown flowers coating the ceiling at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. He’s actually been on my radar for a few years. Just last month I checked out the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg, Florida.
So when I saw Chihuly’s works were coming to the New York Botanical Garden through October, I had to go. And it’s an absolute must if you’re in NYC.
New York Botanical Garden
The NYBG is actually located in the Bronx, accessible via Metro North from Grand Central or a subway ride + a walk. The garden itself is gorgeous and HUGE. I barely even scratched the surface as I was on a time crunch so I focused only on the Chihuly pieces. It can be done in an hour but at least a half day is preferable. There are restaurants and food trucks (or you are permitted to bring your own food on the grounds) so you really can spend the whole day there.
I started with the Haupt Conservatory. Chihuly’s Citron Sun greets you before you even enter the conservatory. The bright neon green glass swiggles stand out against the white-and-glass building. Even with other tourists around, you can get some great shots and views of the work.
Once inside, you go from work to work with great directional signage leading you from one work to another. You can expect glass flowers in water, water droplets splashing from the gardens, and even glass leaves that blend in with their natural surroundings.
In addition to Chihuly’s well known styles, the exhibit includes the new Koda studies using colored panels which create gorgeous reflections in the water, and a neon work I can’t wait to go back and see at night.
Next up is Red Reeds. My photos don’t do the work justice as the red pops so much, plus it was tough to get a photo without a tourist in it. The press photo from NYBG is below so you can really see the beauty of it.
Native Plant Garden
You’ll first find a boat filled with colorful glass orbs. Further along the water you’ll find two different colored panels which gave me one of my favorite shots of the day. The whole area is incredibly calming with small waterfalls and green everywhere.
The blue Sapphire Star is next, on its own in a grassy area. It’s an incredible work that reminisces of a bright blue eye.
Mertz Library Art Gallery
Outside, you’ve got a great old vs. new with Blue Polyvitro Crystals in the fountain next to weather faded sculptures. Inside you’ll find Chihuly’s early work, drawings and a film.
I went in expecting to a see a couple of Chihuly’s works and was blown away with how they seemed to pop up everywhere. It’s an incredible exhibit by day and special nighttime events throughout this summer show the works lit up at night. It’s definitely a must see and I can’t wait to go back to check out the rest of the New York Botanical Gardens.
CHIHULY is running now through October 29th at the New York Botanical Gardens. Admission is $23 on weekdays and $28 on weekdays. The grounds are free on Wednesdays but you can pay $13 for access to the Conservatory.