Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Gardens of Glass
If you're in the Pittsburgh area, you owe it to yourself to get to the Phipps Conservatory to see one of the most beautiful, imaginative exhibits ever. One of my favorite artists, Dale Chihuly, is currently exhibiting many of his installation chandeliers and other large glass pieces in the gardens of the Conservatory. At night, it is simply enchanting.

Phipps Conservatory is one of the jewels of American botanical conservatories. Built in 1893 by one of Pittsburgh's steel scions, Henry Phipps, it is a classic example of high Victorian glass and steel, and it's collection of plants and their presentation is really dramatic. I used to love going there as a child at Easter time with my mother and grandmother to see all the tulips and spring flowers.

This time around, it was Christmas time and I took my sister, her kids, and my niece's boyfriend (!!) to see the exhibit last night. It did not disappoint. I took most of these photos without a flash, so there is some slight blurring since it was dark and I had to leave the shutter open a while longer.

This is the main chandelier in the entrance pavilion.


Entering the Palm House, you are presented with this gorgeous standing chandelier in blues and yellows.


This rowboat of brightly colored glass balls in a reflecting pond was among my favorites.


The colors were almost too intense for the camera...


This spiny chandelier in the Cacti House was inspired.


And lastly, this blue installation in the Silver House made for a wonderful Holiday setting.


There were plenty of stand alone pieces, outdoor sculptures, and other installations. It took us a full two hours to see everything, and I would have loved to have walked through it again.

The exhibit runs through the end of February after being extended from Thanksgiving, so make an effort to get here if you can.

To see more (and better) photos of the exhibit and a nice five minute video, you can go to the artist's website to view them.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:36 AM  
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