2019 Events | A Celebration of Art & Architecture

Posted October 9th, 2019 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Community, Dynamic Glass, Events, Get Inspired, Insights, latest, The Arts
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Image courtesy of Melanie Biehle | Seattle Refined

Are you a lover of art, architecture, and nature?

Since the 19th Century, people have been drawn to the transparent nature of conservatories. They allow us to feel more connected to the natural world without being exposed to the elements. Today, architects, builders, and even artists, such as Dale Chihuly, continue to design and build conservatories to create this inviting atmosphere.

In Chihuly’s latest exhibition at the Franklin Park Conservatory in Ohio, Chihuly: Celebrating Nature, art, architecture, and the natural world collide in a bold, colorful expression!

“I want people to be OVERWHELMED WITH LIGHT AND COLOR in the same way that they’ve never experienced.”


At a young age, Chihuly became fascinated with old-world conservatories and greenhouses and began to travel the world to study them. Years later, as his passion grew, he began to host art exhibits inside the great botanical conservatories around the world, bringing art enthusiasts and garden lovers together to experience both in a new way!

If you haven’t already, visit Franklin Park Conservatory and EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC OF ART UNDER GLASS! For more information about the exhibition, click HERE!

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Spotlight on Dale Chihuly

Posted March 15th, 2012 by Alan Stein and filed in General
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Where there are conservatories, there is often amazing art. The same appreciation of light and beauty that leads to the development of a conservatory sparks an artistic spirit. In no person does this appreciation and aesthetic shine brighter than glass artist Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly’s art can be found from coast to coast in public installations and museums. With a deft hand and incomparable vision, Chihuly brings to life startling and inspiring sculptures in colored glass. His own biography shows off his unique connection to gardens and natural settings, stating “Chihuly’s lifelong affinity for glasshouses has grown into a series of exhibitions within botanical setting”.

Exhibits in conservatories like Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, Wright Park Arboretum in Tacoma and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh have showcased some of the best of Dale Chihuly’s art, blending his freeform glass flowers with real tropical and native plant life. The natural light in the exhibits bring new dimension to the art. Chihuly’s art neatly complements the history and style of the iconic structures in which it is shown, blending glass and plant life and bringing new meaning to both.

This spring, Dale Chihuly will open a massive new collection of works in Seattle, Washington. Chihuly Garden and Glass will be the largest exhibit of Chihuly’s work to date in a public setting. Three separate areas encompassing more than 37,000 square feet will hold a dazzling array of pieces by this sculptor of gardens.




Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago, and Glass Art

Posted January 10th, 2009 by Alan Stein and filed in General
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I came across a great book that I had picked up at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago a few years ago and then inadvertently misplaced.

Back in November 2001, the well-know artist Dale Chihuly created thirty of his characteristic art-glass pieces and installed them throughout the conservatory set among the permanent collections of exotic plants.

They were interestingly placed, entwined with the branches and trunks, suspended in space or floating in the many indoors ponds providing an interesting contrast with the profuse natural vegetation.

“With names like Peacock Blue Tower, Macchia Forest, Ikebana, most of the pieces used elements first used in other contexts, but now ‘recontextualized’ in a site-specific assemblage” – as the book notes. There were glass reeds, fronds, Art Nouveau Tiffany-type snakes and blossoms which were contrasted with natural environments within the greenhouses.

Here are a few pictures of the works.

floral art glass

floral glass

floral glass3

However, the part of the book that I actually liked the best was in the beginning. Seemingly unrelated to the subject matter at hand, there were 23 reproductions of old colorized black and white postcards and photographs depicting many of the original great conservatories built in America.

What looks to be a postcard image from the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition in San Francisco shows the newly constructed Conservatory in Golden Gate Park, now known as the “Conservatory of Flowers”.

There were some images of buildings I had never seen before including an elaborate conservatory labeled “Conservatory Garfield Park, Chicago, IL”. It features two large glass “onion domes” on top of a very complex roof.

garfield park conservatory pic

This one caught my eye because I have just been working on a history of the existing conservatory at Garfield Park in Chicago- and it doesn’t look anything like the one pictured. In fact I used one of the colorized images from the book showing the current conservatory at Garfield Park in the new “Our Heritage” section of our website. If you go to this page you can see the “other” Garfield Park conservatory. I wonder what happened to the older one?

I’m going to post these wonderful images on our site shortly, but in the meantime here are few that I really liked.

mitchel park conservatory

hollywood garden room

What a wonderful heritage we have- and some high standards to live up to! More to come on these.