A year ago, when I read that there would be an installation of Chihuly glass at Biltmore Estate, I made a mental note of the dates it would be there and vowed to get myself to Asheville to see it.  I am a big fan of beautiful blown glass, and Chihuly’s work is exquisite!  Biltmore is one of my favorite places to visit in the US, and since we lived in Asheville for a few years, I’ve been there a number of times.  I never get tired of it, and I see something new every time I visit.

The first time I saw Chihuly glass (at least to know that was what I was seeing) was when I was in Tacoma, Washington, where Rex and I were celebrating our 25th anniversary.  It just so happens that Dale Chihuly is from Tacoma, and there are a number of permanent installations there, as well as the Museum of Glass.  We walked across the incredibly beautiful Chihuly Bridge of Glass and ogled at the wondrous creations in Union Station.  Had we had more time, we could have visited the Tacoma Art Museum, but no matter – I was hooked!

Since then, I’ve admired Chihuly glass at the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas (world’s largest glass sculpture!), at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Chihuly: The Nature of Glass at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Chihuly at the Dallas Arboretum, Chihuly in the Gallery and in the Forest at Crystal Bridges, and at various other places.  Chihuly has several permanent installations in the US and abroad – if you haven’t appreciated them in person yet, I encourage you to do so.  They are phenomenal!  And they are fabulous photo ops and make gorgeous pages!

While I have loved all of the Chihuly exhibitions I’ve seen, the one at Biltmore ranks close to the top for me.  In case you haven’t had the opportunity or good fortune to visit Biltmore, it’s the largest privately owned home in the United States.  Built for George Vanderbilt at the end of the 19th century, it took six years to construct.  The house itself contains four acres of floor space, boasting 35 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces!  And that’s just the house…the gardens, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (of Central Park fame) cover acres and acres of land, and they are just magnificent.

My sister and I found ourselves in western North Carolina recently to celebrate our aunt’s 90th birthday, so we made sure to include a side trip to Asheville on our itinerary.  Since we had all day to explore the estate and admire the glass, we decided to do a special rooftop tour this time.  Oh my!  What a great decision!  We literally got to stand on top of the roof and gaze out over the estate and see the sculptures, shingles, and ironwork up close.  I could have screamed when my camera battery died (while on the roof) and I had left the back up in the car.  Needless to say, we made a trip back to the car after lunch!  Thankfully, I had my phone and another camera as backups.  Pages to come later…

All this to say that I’m so glad to have made it to Asheville just in the nick of time to see the Chihuly exhibit, which ended last weekend.  I’ve had so much fun making these pages, and it won’t take me long to make my calendar for next year with them!

Enjoy!  Fonts used are Monotype Corsiva (titles on every page) and KG Architect’s Daughter (journaling).

 

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32 Responses to Blog: Chihuly at Biltmore – A Perfect Pairing

  1. Avril Lawson says:

    Jan, your pages are stunning, thanks for sharing, Avril

  2. Ruth Regas says:

    I am working on my Seattle Chihuly pages now. These give me such inspiration and ideas. Thanks for sharing them. I have seen Chihuly in Denver and Seattle and am hooked.

  3. Toni McDonnell says:

    OMG… my experience of falling in love with DC’s works in Tacoma happened when my son went off to college in Washington state. You also share my thoughts and desires to visit his displays whenever possible. I must admit that I really enjoy his glass at night, which I saw in Dallas, and now in Ashville. I too squeaked into the Biltmore on the last weekend. Maybe our paths were crossing, and I didn’t know it! I now am inspired to create a book from all my visits. Thank you so much for sharing your remarkable pages. You really know how to make the glass come alive in a book.

    • Jan says:

      Thank you, Toni! I love the glass at night, too! We waited too late to try to do that in Asheville. We were there mid-week on the next to last week, so not quite the same time. Be sure and share your pages.

  4. Jan B says:

    Thank you for sharing your pages and love for Chihuly glass. I too love Chihuly glass and have many opportunities to experience his talent and beautiful creations. I am always in awe!

  5. Liz Propst says:

    Your pages are over the top Jan …. thanks for sharing!!

  6. Terry Vachowski says:

    Thanks, Jan! I’ve been enjoying your amazing pages and now I will be scheming to go to Asheville to visit Biltmore and to St. Petersburg to see the permanent Chihuly exhibit! Both so beautiful!

  7. Linda Johnson says:

    Thanks for sharing your amazing pages Jan. The Chihuly pieces are very beautiful. I will have to check out his work sometime.

  8. Peg Wier says:

    Stunning. We were there just last Sunday (the last day of the Chihuly exhibit). Were did the night visit as well. A great experience. Your pages are gorgeous.

    • Jan says:

      Thanks, Peg! I’ll bet it was packed last weekend!! It was busy enough on a weekday almost at the end… So happy you got to see it at night, too – such a brilliant display!

  9. Karen Pritchard says:

    Wow just wow! Great pages Jan, thanks for sharing.

  10. Laura Johnson says:

    The light went on! Now I get it…. saw one of his (Dale is a guy I assume) at the Palm Spring Museum of Art and loved it but had no idea how many and how famous they are. DUH was me 😉 I was ready to book a flight to Ashville until I read that it closed last weekend…. dang! Seattle WOULD be easier for me, though. THANK YOU for the fun Happy Talk today!

  11. ANN says:

    I’m putting this on my bucket list for sure

  12. Bridget Clay says:

    Love seeing these pictures!! Each year I plan a Chihuly trip and was looking forward to The Biltmore. I had heard so much about it but unfortunately it didn’t happen and I ran out of time. I have SO enjoyed viewing your pages of Chihuly at The Biltmore. I too have seen this beautiful glass at the locations you mentioned and on my bucket list is to visit the permanent exhibit in Petersburg Fl. I love knowing another Chihuly groupie. LOL!!! In my books I try to also add something about the town I visit as well. I have I’m so sad I did not have a Chihuly trip this year BUT the year is not over. LOL! Thank you for showing your beautiful pages.

  13. Randi Davis says:

    Saw an exhibit at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. All the pieces were in the various tanks with the fish. Pretty amazing to see the beautiful fish swimming in and around the glass creations.

  14. Linda DeLaughter says:

    We were at Biltmore last Christmas season, which unfortunately was BEFORE this extraordinary exhibit! However, you have allowed me and others to “be there” and live vicariously through these exquisite pages!

  15. Lois Berry says:

    Your pages are always so amazing. Never heard of Chihuly but will be on the lookout now.

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