Chihuly at Beaux-Arts

On our first day in Montreal, after visiting Marché Bonsecours, we cycled across town to the Fine-Arts museum to see an exhibit by a famous glass artist from the U.S., Dale Chihuly.

We're embarrassed to admit we didn't know anything about him until one of the innkeepers on a Discovery Bicycle Tour urged us to see his exhibit in Montreal. We're glad that we did!

Chihuly, directing a team of glass artists, creates blown glass objects that are more like giant sculptures. His exhibit in Montreal was wildly popular.

We were impressed, not only by the exhibit of Chihuly's work, but by the museum's surroundings as well. Before we go inside, we'll show a few pictures of street art that we enjoyed outside the museum itself.


Right: The Sun, a trademark work by Chihuly on the steps of the museum. You can see a neat video of its assembly in Montreal by clicking here.

Boy enjoying sculpture outside museum

Juxtaposition of architectural styles across the street. Close-up of statue, a rabbit dancing on top of an elephant!

         Notice the roller skates!

                    Special street beside the museum

In we go! From the steps leading upstairs to the main Chihuly exbibit.

It's hard to capture the scale of Chihuly's objects in small photos. They were generally much bigger than one imagines blown glass to be! The boats below are examples: They are real, full-sized boats, so the fanciful glass balls are actually a couple of feet in diameter!

Glass balls suggest fishing floats seen off the Washington coast, where Chihuly lives.

We can't imagine what's on board this boat!

People in background bring scale to this display.

A closer look

Closer still


The small photo, though out of focus, is meant to give an idea of the size of these glass flowers, which appeared all over the exhibit – on the stairs entering the exhibit, and even in a ceiling, below.


The Chihuly exhibit was a special event at the Beaux Arts, and tickets were pricey – something well over $50 for the two of us. Other special events go on throughout the year.

However, admission to most of the museum is free, and the regular permanent exhibits are terrific. There are all sorts of old masters and other fine arts, but also many whimsical pieces like the overturned 4-wheeler on the right. We're determined to return and see so much that we skipped for lack of time.

The amazing Chihuly exhibit would be only an appetizer before the main course: a visit to the Montreal Botanical Gardens to see the Mosaiculture. First, though, we had to get through a day of rain and wind during which we rode into the city and poked around a little. We didn't stay long or see much because of the weather. We had to wait until the next day to visit the botanical gardens – and you'll have to click the link below.