Lonely Planet Writer

See the wonderful hand-blown glass sculptures in New York's Botanical Garden

Artist Dale Chihuly, best known for his vibrant, hand-blown glass sculptures, returns to the New York Botanical Garden this week for his first major garden exhibition in New York since 2006.

Chihuly at the New York Botanical Gardens
Chihuly at the New York Botanical Gardens Image by Ben Hider

CHIHULY includes twenty installations from the world-renowned artist, situated both inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory and across the Garden’s sprawling grounds. While some pieces were created especially for the NYBG, including the Koda studies series inside the conservatory’s Tropical Pool, all the works were specifically selected for the Botanical Garden based on a site visit by the artist, according to a spokesperson. Even pieces that Chihuly fans already know will seem new in these surroundings, like the fiery Red Reeds on Logs, emerging from wood collected from the Garden’s landscape.

Chihuly at the New York Botanical Gardens in The Bronx.
This is the artist’s first major show in 10 years.   Image by Ben Hider

As stunning as a Chihuly sculpture is in a museum, all twenty pieces take on a fresh feel juxtaposed with the Garden’s verdant natural terrain. “The New York Botanical Garden is the perfect setting for Dale Chihuly’s art,” Gregory Long, CEO of New York Botanical Garden, said in a statement. “Our historic landscape is an open-air museum, providing a thrilling opportunity for our visitors to see the spectacular installations, especially when they will be lit at night.” At night, visitors can see the sculptures sparkle within their enchanting setting.

This exhibition is a must-see throughout the changing seasons.
This exhibition is a must-see throughout the changing seasons. Image by Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden

The Seattle-based artist first exhibited at the NYBG eleven years ago, and a piece from that show returns in tribute. Blue Herons is a series of graceful, organically-shaped birds perched inside the conservatory. Other works include Sapphire Star, positioned on the scenic path called Garden Way, as well as a new neon work that reflects off a pool of water inside the conservatory courtyard.

The exhibition also boasts a dramatic neon sculpture
The exhibition also boasts a dramatic neon sculpture Image by Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden

In addition to the 20 glass installations, a collection of Chihuly’s paintings and drawings are on view in the Garden’s Library building.

CHIHULY runs from 22 April through 29 October, 2017.