Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chiluly and Pitcher Plant

While visiting relatives recently in St. Louis, we toured the Missouri Botanical Garden. I hadn't been there since the early 90s and was pleased to see many improvements. The major one for me is the addition of sculptures by Dale Chihuly, a glass sculptor. I have always liked his work for how the glass catches the light and how it fits perfectly in its environment, the latter influenced by his early academic background in interior design and architecture.

Arch around Rose Garden

Floating Glass in Pond

View toward Climatron

The bright colors contrast nicely with the gray steel of the Climatron, the structure inspired by Buckminister Fuller's geodesic domes.

Inside, sculptures also constrasted with the mass of green tropical foliage.

I thought the sculptures were inspired by....

. . . the Pitcher Plant nearby. This photo won't load right--it's rotated so that the water at the bottom shows up vertically. That water is what the plant uses to drown its insect prey once they land on the slippery slope of the inside of the plant.

They also installed these dinosaur sculptures which worked well to get kids excited (I guess they don't get too excited about orchids, tropical birds, and sculptures).

The T-Rex was especially popular.

Besides the Climatron, the outdoor gardens were lovely-too much for us to see in one morning. I thought the new home demonstration garden was great. I also liked the historic house--Henry Shaw's original home in the 19th when this part of St. Louis was considered the country. Henry was a visionary--promoting botanical research in the 19th century.


  1. Very beautiful. Is some of that glass?

  2. Little Messy Missy--Chiluly only works with glass so they all are glass. The pond ones though might be fragile. I wonder if they bring them in during storms?

  3. Hope you can come to Richmond before the end of the year to see the glass there. Different artist and very different feel, but there is something neat about glass and greenery. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Great place - love the art mixed in witht he plantings.

  5. I first saw this Chiluly post on my ipod..so cool to see it bigger.

    I have seen his work at the local casinos..and also in Vegas..
    I loved your shots of the glass balls in the water!

  6. We were fortunate to see an extensive Chihuly exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum before we moved. Dale Chihuly himself was there with a tent set up where they were making some of these outstanding pieces. Absolutely amazing.

  7. I have shots of that from there too! Such beautiful work!

    Happy week