A world-renowned pioneer in the studio glass movement, for more than 40 years Dale Chihuly has created innovative, organic, and large-scale glass artworks and installations. In 2017 the collection moved to a new space across from the Morean Arts Center in downtown St. Petersburg. It is the first building custom-designed around the prolific artist’s work.
Visitors enter the main body of the 11,000-square-foot collection through a hallway of the artist’s works. Walking through it feels not unlike wandering through the inside of a kaleidoscope.
On display are several massive chandeliers that look somewhat like a colony of crystalline giant tube worms that decided to celebrate Mardi Gras together. Other works featured include the icy, electric blue Tumbleweeds, which is suspended in its own room, the Macchia Forest of organic bowls, and the bright, celebratory Mille Fiori as well as various Ikebana and Niijima Floats.
Also on display are many of the artists’ works on paper, as well as pieces from both his Sea Form and Venetian series. Interestingly, one of those Venetians on display was once stolen from the collection, only to be returned the following day in a crude, taped-up box. The work was unharmed, but it had also been wiped clean of any fingerprints and at the time of this writing, the case remains unsolved.
Know Before You Go
A thirty-seat theater runs a loop of interviews and information about the artist and some of his more well-known installations around the world, and the gift shop has original works available for sale. Tickets for the collection are also good for a free glass blowing demonstration across the street at the Morean Glass Studio & Hotshop.
Plan your visit ahead of time and book a glass blowing workshop after your visit.