Chihuly: Secret Garden

  • major support from the Lincoln Financial Foundation
  • additional support from Parkview Health
  • additional support from Steel Dynamics
  • Contemporary Glass: A Lecture by Brent Cole is September 20 at 6:30pm. $5 Members, $10 Non-Members

Part of the 2013 Summer of Glass, June 29 - September 29

The 2013 Summer of Glass is an experience of contemporary glass comprised of three striking exhibitions, including Chihuly: Secret Garden, The 41st Annual International Glass Invitational Award Winners, and The Next Generation of Studio Glass.

Chihuly's exhibition of glass by internationally famous artist Dale Chihuly is an unprecedented collaboration between the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus designed to welcome different kinds of art lovers throughout the community to discover this contemporary art form that has its roots in a process that is centuries old. 

With glass from Dale Chihuly's famous Macchia, Blue Herons, Red Belugas, and Neodymium Reeds series, this installation will unfold as a metaphorical garden, dazzling the senses with Chihuly's sparkling colors and mesmerizing forms.

The organization and presentation of this major exhibition is a landmark effort to bring to Fort Wayne art that has previously only been accessible in the major metropolitan cities of the country.  By illustrating the artisanal roots of this gorgeous art form, this exhibition intends to break down the barriers between high art and craft, and underscore the relationship of art and craft to daily life, our natural environment, and popular culture. 

This exhibition is organized by the Fort Wayne Museum of Art in cooperation with Franklin Park Conservatory. The work displayed is protected by copyright owned by Dale Chihuly and Chihuly Studio and any reproduction of the Artwork is expressly prohibited.

Tickets to this special exhibition are required. Cost: $7 per person in addition to regular museum admission. Each ticket will permit entry to the Summer of Glass exhibitions Chihuly: Secret Garden, 41st Annual International Studio Glass Invitational Award Winners, and The Next Generation of Studio Glass. FWMoA members receive complimentary tickets to all three shows. Become a member now.

Important information about your visit to the Chihuly and the Summer of Glass exhibitions:

  • Timed entry tickets will be issued based on gallery capacity for entry each half hour. 
  • Groups and individuals who wish to reserve a specific date and time for a visit must purchase tickets in advance. Groups and individuals who do not wish to reserve a date and time for a visit will be issued tickets on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please call 260.422.6467 if you wish to reserve special exhibition tickets for a specific date and time.
  • If your entry time is later than your arrival at the museum, you may visit any of the other seven galleries in the interim. Learn more about FWMoA exhibitions during your visit.
  • The most active days at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art are Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Group visits may be more difficult to arrange on these days. Please call well in advance of your visit to ensure your preferred date and time is reserved.
  • Strollers, photography, backpacks or large bags, food, and drink are not permitted in the special exhibition galleries. Children must be closely supervised by an adult.

In early 2012, FWMoA learned about the extensive Chihuly collection in the care of the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus, Ohio, a premier botanical landmark and cultural attraction featuring exceptional plant collections and gardens and seasonal art- and nature-based exhibitions, not to mention their growing art collection, including the work of the famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. 

Chihuly’s artwork was first seen at the Conservatory in a special exhibition in 2003 and shortly after, The Friends of the Conservatory, a private nonprofit group, purchased most of the pieces in that exhibition as a permanent collection for the Conservatory.

On a visit to the Conservatory during the Summer of 2012, FWMoA curators discovered this world-class Chihuly collection co-existing with plant life, and each wondrous glass work was carefully curated to interact visually with its natural surroundings.

One year later, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art and the Franklin Park Conservatory have teamed up to create an experience of art glass and fantastical natural displays unlike any other in the museum's history. This unique collaborative effort has been made possible by the vision of FWMoA and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens curators, the Lincoln Financial Foundation, and members of the Fort Wayne community.

For the past 40 years, Dale Chihuly has done more to raise the public’s interest in glass as a fine art form than any other artist of his time.  His innovations in glass blowing, combined with a passion for color and seemingly endless creative energy, have resulted in spectacular works that are instantly identifiable for their vibrancy and fluidity of form.

Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington.  After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country at the University of Wisconsin.  He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for over a decade.

In 1968, Chihuly was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work at the Venini factory in Venice, Italy.  While in Venice, Chihuly observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today.  In 1971, Chihuly co-founded the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington.  Established as an international center for the development of glass as a fine art, Chihuly’s work there today continues to lead the avant-garde. 

Chihuly has created many well-known series of works, among them forms known as the Baskets, Persians, and Seaforms, but he is widely celebrated for his large architectural installations.

His most notable installations include Chihuly Over Venice (1995-96), a project that suspended chandeliers over the canals and plazas of Venice, and Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem 2000, an installation at the Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem.  He has also created significant architectural installations at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.

Chihuly’s spectacular creations can be found in more than 200 museums worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as well as, the Columbus Museum of Art.  His first major glasshouse exhibition, Chihuly in the Park A Garden of Glass was a remarkable success during its run at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago.


311 Main Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
P: (260) 422-6467
F: (260) 422-1374
Gallery Hours Tuesday - Saturday: 10am-6pm
Thursday: 10am-8pm
Sunday: 12-5pm
Administrative Office Hours Monday - Friday: 8:30am-5pm