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Chihuly at the Desert Botanical Garden

Last month my husband and I visited the Desert Botanical Garden to see an amazing exhibit by Dale Chihuly. Tickets were sold by timed admission and since our daytime temperatures were already hovering around 100 degrees, we chose to visit the garden at 8:00am.

We spent a delightful three hours marveling at about 15 impressive installations of brightly colored glass set amongst the rugged natural beauty of the desert. We were awed by the magnitude of the exhibit and the play of light, colors and shapes.

I had to search the Web to label the photos because the handout given with the ticket did not provide any information on the exhibit, just a bio of Chihuly. The photos are posted in the sequence we saw them, the first one being right at the entrance of the garden.

A few of the sculptures have Italian names and I’m guessing that they were part of Chihuly’s 1996 exhibit in Venice. There’s a PBS video on this exhibit which I haven’t seen but I’m hoping to see it soon in a rerun or find copy at the public library.

Desert Towers


The Sun


Scorpion Tails and Bamboo


Red Reeds


Tiger Lilies, next to a rare crested saguaro.


Campiello Barbaro Chandelier


Squero di San Trovaso Chandelier


Crimson and Yellow Chandelier


Pink Mirrored Fiori


Mirrored Hornets


White Belugas


Float Boat


Blue Reeds


Blue Flamingos


Neodymium Reeds


Blue and Green Ferns


The Moon


Mexican Hat and Horn Tower


Saffron Tower


Comments (10)

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Maria, wow these are really incredible. You took some pretty amazing photos and that was really nice of you to take the time to provide the names for them. I think my favorite is the Desert Towers and the Mexican Hat and Horn Tower, but they are all beautiful.

What a great experience to be able to see the exhibit in this setting. Thanks so much for sharing and posting your photos. Have a great evening!

Thanks for sharing your photos. They are absolutely breathtaking! And I love your colorful borders.
Hard to pick a favorite.

Kathy, it’s hard for me to pick a favorite because they were all amazing but I also like a lot the Desert Towers and the Mexican Hats.

Candi, I couldn’t resist putting colorful borders to these stunning sculptures. :)

Excellent photos Maria. Chihuly is one of my favorites. I remember reading about the installation at the garden and it works very well. Much better than I expected. He has a lot of spiky glass pieces that go well with the cactus.

I also like how you matched the photo borders with the piece and researched their names.

I like the mirrored hornets and desert tower. Wow!

Hi Maria,
You have done a fantastic job of capturing everyone of the exhibits. Thank you for also taking the time to give us the name for each one. This must have been a great show to see. I love in Seattle, home of Dale Chihuly, and we often see some of his work at the malls or resturants, but never have been able to go to a viewing of so many of his works at one time. Thank you for sharing. You were very smart to go early to beat the heat !!


Oh, Maria, I LOVE Dale Chihuly creations!

The Palm Springs Desert Museum has several pieces and, of course, the Bellagio lobby ceiling is magnificent.

I would have loved to attend this exhibit!

Wow!! It must have been amazing seeing these fabulous exhibits in person. Lucky you!! Thanks so much for sharing your photos.

Wow, what an awesome exhibit! I really want to see some of his work in person some day. The desert is an incredible setting for these works. I love them all but I think my fave is "float boat."

I saw the Chihuly in Venice show on PBS - it was wonderful.

Great post!I love the photo borders too. :)

Marta, I thought the mirrored hornets looked so much like the agave plant.

Sandra, you're lucky to be able to see some of Chihuly's work at permanent locations in Seattle. I wanted to return to the garden to see the exhibit at night; I was told it was spectacular.

Nancy, I've seen photos of the Bellagio ceiling and it looks amazing. I don't like Vegas too much but would not mind going there just to see that ceiling.

Girasoli, I've been waiting and hoping to see Chihuly's work in person since I read about him in Marta's and Deborah's blog. I couldn’t believe it when I read that he was coming to Phoenix!

Annie, I'm trying to locate a copy of the DVD of Chihuly in Venice but I’m not having much luck so far. I didn’t find it at the public library and Netflix has some of his DVDs but not this one.

I like the float boat also - it was placed in an area that looked like a wash. There was another boat installation in the exhibit but I don't have a photo of it.

Thanks SO much for the Chihuly pictures. I just love his work.
Did the garden keep any of the pieces as perm. installations?

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