A restaurant filled with hanging accordions! Today is the last of the Chihuly series, featuring the Collections Cafe. All this week I have been sharing the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit that I had the opportunity to visit in Seattle over the recent holidays.
This is the restaurant inside the museum. I would not have been inclined to go in (it’s not very noticeable from inside the museum) except that a friend at the Christmas party, a Seattle resident, told us about the innovative displays and delicious food.
Dave Chihuly has extensive collections of things that reside inside this Cafe. The biggest and most bold of the collections consists of two or three dozen vintage accordions. They all hang down from the ceiling, high above the diners who sit at the tables enjoying the exquisite cuisine. That is what’s in this photo.
When you first walk toward the long and narrow restaurant, a wall of hundreds of bottle openers greets you. They’re from college days and other places along his path. We were seated at one of the far-back tables so we had the opportunity to walk the entire length of the restaurant and view all the collections.
On one wall are dozens of colorful antique radios in a shelved display. Other interesting collections are displayed in the tables. Many of the dining tables are a display case built underneath the glass tabletop. Displayed inside the table were many small articles, neatly displayed, with a whimsical and colorful theme. There were Christmas decorations at one table, transistor radios at another, small cameras, old tin toys, shaving brushes–all displayed in these table cases. But there was only so long you could hover over some poor stranger’s Brie and Pear Ravioli to study the collection in their table, ha.
It was a dark and rainy day and even though there were large windows to the outdoors, by 3 pm it started to get darker. That was when I could take my eyes off the collections and enjoy the brightly-lit wall of his drawings. The theme of the entire exhibit echoed here in the restaurant too in the form of a back-lit wall (see left side of first photo) of 36 drawings. The riotous colors and unique designs of Dale Chihuly’s drawings came alive.
I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I enjoyed showing you around. I’ve received comments during the week from many people all over the world who relayed their experiences and glowing reviews of Chihuly exhibits they had visited. This makes me smile. It’s always great to witness appreciation and reverence for a brilliant artist living in our time.
[All photographs in this series courtesy of Athena Alexander; no reproduction or usage without permission.]