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Chihuly’s Ikebana Series Turns 30

Silvered Rose Ikebana with Silver Stem and Yellow Flower, 2012, 23 x 55 x 25"

In 1989, Chihuly began the organic and otherworldly Ikebana series. The name “ikebana” was inspired by Japan’s disciplined art of flower arranging, while the love of flowers had been planted long ago by his mother Viola.

Ikebana Grouping, 2002

The series was born out of Chihuly’s Venetians, when he began placing stylized flowers in Venetian vessels. Eventually, this experimentation evolved into the Ikebana series as Chihuly developed simpler, larger forms such as pears or gourds to serve as vessels in the early 90s. Extending from the mouths of these forms were ornate flora and ribbonlike leaves.

Dappled Midnight Blue Ikebana with Feathers and Stem, 2018, 96 x 27 x 27"

Dappled Midnight Blue Ikebana with Feathers and Stem (detail), 2018, 96 x 27 x 27"

Ikebana are often placed in gardens, conservatories and glasshouses, bringing a sense of wonder to a natural setting.

Fiori Ikebana, 2007, Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, Washington

Gilded Red Ikebana, 2002, 54 x 45 x 17", Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago

Alternatively, the stems have also been used to create large-scale installations, such as the Lackawanna Ikebana at Union Station, Tacoma, WA.


Lackawanna Ikebana, 1994, 18' diameter, Union Station, Tacoma, Washington

Recently, the series has been the featured subject matter for Chihuly's Glass on Glass.

Ikebana Glass on Glass Painting, 2017, 42 x 32 x 7''

Visit the Ikebana page to continue learning about the series. 

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