Are There Glass Snakes in Dale Chihuly’s Fragile Eden?


Works that can be seen in “CHIHULY,” Dale Chilhuly’s exhibition at the New York Botanical Garden. CreditPhotographs by Vincent Tullo for The New York Times


The single-word, all-caps title — “CHIHULY” — of a new show at the New York Botanical Garden conveys immediately exactly what visitors will be getting: vibrant glass sculptures in a familiar style, one that often recalls nature, and sometimes competes with it.

For the exhibition, which runs through Oct. 29, the Seattle glassmaker Dale Chihuly and his team have spread 20 different installations throughout the garden’s 250 acres. Visitors who head to the Bronx will find a 30-foot-tall “Scarlet and Yellow Icicle Tower” and the spiky blue supernova “Sapphire Star.”


Dale Chihuly’s “Sapphire Star,” currently installed at at the New York Botanical Garden. CreditVincent Tullo for The New York Times


Tucked away in the grand old Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, 14 bright red and lily-pad-shaped “Persians” and 18 slender “Blue Herons” emerge from a pond, alongside lush green plants.

Mr. Chihuly’s exhibition here in 2006 attracted some 360,000 people, the largest crowd in the Garden’s history then. But his showmanship has also attracted a certain ambivalence, from both the art world — the website Artinfo ran an article in 2012 called “Top 10 Favorite Mean Things That Have Been Said About Dale Chihuly” — as well as from garden visitors.

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