Is there any more beautiful artwork than light streaming through colored glass? Think stained glass windows. Think Tiffany lamps. And think Dale Chihuly, creator of huge colorful glass sculptures in varying shapes and textures. One of the largest collections of Chihuly glass is on permanent exhibit at Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
Dale Chihuly: Magic & Light
The Chihuly collection began as a temporary exhibit in the museum. The public response was so overwhelmingly positive that the museum purchased the exhibition. Additional pieces were later gifted to the museum by Dale Chihuly.
The Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower, 2400 individual hand-blown glass tubes in yellows and blues twist and curl together, soaring 55 feet up the museum’s three-story entry atrium, hinting at what awaits you in the third-floor exhibit.
You will be awestruck at your first glimpse of the astounding magic that Chihuly created with color and light. Each time you turn a corner, another eye-popping creation awaits you.
Just when you think there can be no more surprises, you come to the Persian Ceiling, a passageway that entices you to look nowhere but up.
Other Oklahoma City Museum of Art exhibits
Of course, Chihuly isn’t the only exhibit in the museum. The Chihuly exhibit shares the third floor with other modern art, as well. The painted aluminum sculpture, “Jasper,” by John Henry takes up a large portion of one room. The room’s walls are lined with abstract and colorful artworks.
The second floor includes an exhibition titled “Posed & Composed: Portraits of Women” as well as nineteenth and twentieth-century American and British art.
The first floor is home to changing exhibits. On my visit the museum was going through a change, setting up for the current exhibit “Our City, Our Collection: Building the Museum’s Lasting Legacy.” It focuses on the museum’s history and includes some of the museum’s permanent collection by such renowned artists as Pierre-August Renoir and Georgia O’Keefe.
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From mid-June through mid-September 2016, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art will host “Matisse in his Time: Masterworks of Modernism from the Centre Pompidou, Paris.” This will be the first time the exhibit will be displayed outside of Europe. The OKCMOA will be the only North American venue for the exhibit.
I like to browse museum stores because they offer unique items. The OKCMOA store includes Chihuly and Chihuly-inspired objects, as well as handmade jewelry, books, and many other giftable items.
Be sure to also walk down the hall toward the café to see the Chihuly Waterford Crystal Chandelier.
If you visit the Oklahoma City Museum of Art
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art, located at 415 Couch Drive in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is open Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). Check the web site for hours and admission fees.
Accommodations: We stayed at the Ambassador Hotel Oklahoma City Autograph Collection during our visit to Oklahoma City. Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.
Disclosures: My visit to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art was hosted by the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau and the museum. My admission to the museum was complimentary. However, all opinions expressed in this article are my own.
This article contains an affiliate link, which means that if you book a room using this link, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.
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24 thoughts on “Oklahoma City Museum of Art: Featuring Extensive Chihuly Glass Collection”
I’m not a big fan of modern art museums, but this one is a must, if I ever get to Oklahoma City. Thank you for this great and enlightening article!
I agree, Penny. The Chihuly exhibit is a definite must.
That Chihuly Collection looks awesome! Not sure how I missed this one when compiling my list of the top 25 things to do in Oklahoma City (http://www.thecrazytourist.com/top-25-things-to-do-in-oklahoma-city/) . Might have to add this one somewhere in between:P
Awesome list, Jan. Looks like I need to make some return trips to Oklahoma City to take in more fun. And yes, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art definitely belongs on the list.
Holy smokes, the glass work is amazing, especially that Eleanor tower. I love art, and could happily spend hours wandering through this place. Nicely done, your images are quite nice 🙂 .
Thank you, Kemkem. It’s practically impossible to take a bad picture of the Chihuly collection. It’s so beautiful.
I love Chihuly!! This reminds me of the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit in Seattle. It was a bit pricey, but it was one of our favorite things we did in the city. Oklahoma is on my list of places to visit and now I’m even more excited!
I need to get back to Seattle to see the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit. It’s been years since I visited Seattle. What’s nice about the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is that the Chihuly Collection is included in the general admission fee, which is only $12.
The blown glass art is gorgeous, and I had no idea there was a museum like this in Oklahoma City!
I was pleasantly surprised by a lot of things in Oklahoma City, Holly. It’s a great city to visit.
I would love to visit the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and be fascinated by the glass art.
The Chihuly glass is certainly fascinating. We got there first thing in the morning on a weekday and had the entire exhibit to ourselves, which was great for photographing it. There was a school group in the museum at the same time, so we made sure to get to the Chihuly exhibit before they did. 🙂
Great subject matter, great topic, great blog. Looked like you had a great time. Look forward to reading more
Thank you! We really did enjoy Oklahoma City. It offers a lot more than I knew.
I love Chihuly! Near Seattle in Tacoma is a museum also that has some very unique pieces like the “Bridge of Glass” that has a ceiling of nothing but his creations. There is a hotel across the street dedicated to his work also. If we are ever in Oklahoma City we will have to visit this museum.
I love to visit art museums in different countries 🙂 This ones looks really nice 🙂 I remember once I went to Bangkok art museum and was expecting to see mostly Asian artists works but found Europeans exhibitions 🙂
It would surprise me, too, to see European exhibitions in an Asian art museum. It just shows that art is global; people enjoy seeing works from other parts of the world, as well as their own.
We have the Chihuly garden here in seattle and it’s magnificent – i wonder how it compares to the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.
I would love to see the Chihuly garden. It’s on my list.
Thanks for introducing Chihuly to me-I hadn’t seen his work before. The crystal chandelier is amazing!
I see so many beautiful posts of this glassware- absolutely stunning. I did not know it was also offered in Oklahoma City so thanks for sharing. I need to visit Oklahoma in the next 3 years to complete my 50 before 50 bucket list. 😉
I didn’t know there was a Chihuly exhibit before I visited Oklahoma. Oklahoma City has so much to offer that I wasn’t aware of before my visit.
This is an amazing article! I am planning to take my kids to the Museum of Art this weekend 🙂
Thank you, Samantha. We really enjoyed the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, especially the Chihuly exhibit.