Dale Chihuly’s works belong to museum collections from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Louvre. His installations have hung over the piazza and canals of Venice. Yet his permanent collection resides in downtown St. Petersburg at the Chihuly Collection presented by Morean Arts Center, a gallery designed precisely and permanently for displaying his works, a true Chihuly museum. View the collection, then visit the nearby Glass Studio & Hot Shop at Morean Arts Center, where you can shop or even make a glass creation of your own.
You can’t miss the entrance to the Chihuly Collection – a 20-foot vertical swath of cerise-colored “rocks” marks it. The medium is glass, but the textural elements and oversize construction give this everyday material a new identity.
Inside the collection, distinct spaces group selections from Chihuly’s popular series for even more impact. Pieces commissioned specifically for this site shine, including “Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier,” which dangles, perhaps, in suggestion of a crimson anemone. As you move through the collection, see how each piece speaks to you. Smile at the explosion of colorful curlicues known as “Mille Fiore.” Gaze at the neon glow emanating from “Tumbleweed.” Study the ceiling of “Persians,” Chihuly’s exotic, open forms patterned with striations. Note the contrasting colors and patterns of the billowy bowls inside the collection’s “Macchia Forest.”
You’ve no doubt noticed that Chihuly’s body of work comes with its own vernacular. Learn the words while viewing the works on a docent-led tour (available Monday through Friday). Then meander through the "Chihuly museum" at your own pace. On weekends, don’t hesitate to direct your questions to the floating docents on hand to help. After you've explored the collection, stop by the retail store to browse collection merchandise, limited edition original prints and studio editions.
After touring the collection, visit the Glass Studio & Hot Shop at the nearby Morean Arts Center. Here, you can watch glassblowers create original pieces – or register to create your own. The Hot Shop Personal Glass Experience gives you a 30-minute, one-on-one session with a demonstration artist who will help you make your own objet d’art to take home. The Glass Studio & Hot Shop is also the perfect place to shop for glass works created by local and regional artists.
You can purchase tickets separately for the Chihuly Collection and the Glass Studio & Hot Shop, but a special combination ticket called the St. Petersburg Arts Experience pairs admission to both with admission to the nearby Morean Arts Center for Clay, a working pottery studio housed inside a historic train station.