The Chihuly at Biltmore exhibit opened in May at the Biltmore Estate, and is the first art exhibition that has been featured in the Biltmore’s historic gardens. It’s also the first garden exhibition of Chihuly’s work in the State of North Carolina.
The exhibition features 16 pieces created by artist Dale Chihuly created from as early as 1996 to this year. When you pick up your tickets to the Chihuly exhibition which includes the gardens and the first floor of the Biltmore House be sure to pick up a map to help guide you through your tour.
In addition to the glass sculptures in the gardens, there are two sculptures in and around the Biltmore House. One is in the Winter Garden (Laguna Torchello II, 2018) and outside of the Biltmore House (Sky Blue and Cobalt Fiori, 2017). There are also two sculptures on view in Antler Village (Alabaster and Amber Spire Towers, 2017) and (Turquoise and Erbium Fiori, 2017). So be sure to visit all three locations so you don’t miss a thing!
Since we had dinner reservations at the Village Social, we decided to see the sculptures at the Antler Village first along with the Vanderbilt Railway Travels display. The night we visited was one of the busiest nights as our shuttle driver later told us we would be seeing the gardens with ‘2,000 of our closest friends.’
The Alabaster and Amber Spire Towers, 2017 are located between the Creamery and Antler Hill Outfitters. So why not grab a scoop of ice cream at the Creamery to enjoy while you view both sculptures in Antler Hill Village?
The Turquoise and Erbium Fiori, 2017 sculpture is on the other side of the Antler Hill Outfitters and one of our favorite shops in the all of Antler Hill Village, Traditions.
After dinner, we headed over to Parking Lot C (for those of you who’d rather take a shuttle to the Big House.) Those who choose Parking Lots A & B are warned that the distance between the parking lots and the Biltmore is quite a hike, so if the weather is hot (or rainy) then I’d definitely choose Parking Lot C. Shuttles arrive every 15 minutes, so you won’t have to wait long.
Although there are drinks and water bottles available for purchase once you’ve reached the Conservatory, if you’re in need of something cool to drink, I’d definitely pick up a beverage at one of the vendors in the Carriage House.
Something to note for your tour of the first floor of Biltmore House. When you purchase your tickets you will be given a time for your tour. While you can’t enter the house before your reservation time, it’s perfectly alright if you’re a little delayed. Also worth noting, the shuttles run to and from the parking lots until 11pm each evening.
Our favorite sculpture from the exhibition was without a doubt the Sole d’Oro, 2017. Located by the reflecting pond in the lawn in front of the Biltmore House, it was by far the most impressive and we couldn’t even imagine how long it must have taken the artist to create a piece not only so large in scale but one with some many glass pieces.
Our next stop were the Italian Gardens where sculptures 4-8 are on view in the three pools that run the length of the garden.
One of the things that I enjoyed most about viewing the Italian Gardens were the koi in all three of the ponds. They were beautifully colored, from orange, orange/blue to the most stunning pearl-like koi that looked so serene as it swam around the sculptures.
Float Boat, 2017 & Niijima Floats, 2018
Palazzo Ducale Tower, 1996
This sculpture is one of Chihuly’s earlier works compared to the rest of the exhibition and is in the center most pond in the Italian Garden.
Neodymium Reeds with Fiori Verdi, 2014
Fiori Boat, 2017
The Red Reeds, 2017 are located in the Shrub Garden, and you can either view them from the pathways on either side, or walk down into the lawn (there’s a bit of a hill) to view them up-close.
Red Reeds, 2017
The Walled Garden has two sculptures located on either side of the lattice lined walkway. The Electric Yellow and Deep Coral Tower, 2017 will be on your left as you walk towards the Conservatory with the Paintbrush Tower, 2014 on your right.
Electric Yellow and Deep Coral Tower, 2017
Paintbrush Tower, 2014
One thing that we all found amusing was during the entire time we were viewing the Electric Yellow and Deep Coral Tower, a bird was perched on top of the sculpture. He was still there when we were on our way back from the Conservatory as well, so this must have been his favorite sculpture from the exhibit.
In front of the Conservatory are the Cattails and Copper Birch Reeds, 2015 and inside the Conservatory there are three Chandeliers on view — Burnished Amber, Citron, and Teal, 2017 so be sure to look up to see all three.
Cattails and Copper Birch Reeds, 2015
One of the Burnished Amber, Citron, and Teal Chandeliers, 2017.
With our time to view the inside of the house approaching, we walked through the Pergola to see the Pergola Garden Fiori which featured Fiori in a variety of colors.
To the right of the main entrance to Biltmore House you will find the Sky Blue and Cobalt Fiori, 2017. Be sure to take a picture both from outside of the house, and through the open window directly before going through security.
The final sculpture, Laguna Torcello II, 2018 is located inside Biltmore House in what was the Vanderbilt’s Winter Garden. Be sure to note all of the sea creatures that are a part of the sculpture!
If you want to view the Chihuly at Biltmore exhibition, it will be on view through October 7th.
About the Artist
American artist Dale Chihuly shattered established boundaries of glass as an art medium. His awe-inspiring works of art – each a marvel of color, form, and light – are included in more than 200 museum collections worldwide.