Museum of Glass

The Museum of Glass


Looking for a creative and inventive place to visit while in Tacoma Washington? Or are you a local to Tacoma, searching for something to do this weekend? Whoever you are, a great opportunity that awaits you in Tacoma is the Museum of Glass.
The Museum of Glass is committed to sparking creativity and innovation. Since opening in 2002, the Museum has brought culture and creativity to the city of Tacoma Washington. This is the largest and most active glass studio this side of the Mississippi.
The Museum of Glass is a proud motivator and supporter of change and is committed to celebrating and supporting diversity, equality, and inclusivity. Tacoma has benefited from the Museum of Glass and the atmosphere it has brought to the community.
One thing the Museum of Glass is known for in the local community is the iconic cone shaped building. The intriguing architecture brings many visitors and adds to the structural interest of the city of Tacoma. In 2017, the Museum of Glass was listed by USA Today as a top-ten tourist destination in the state of Washington.


The idea for the Museum of Glass was born in 1992 in a conversation between Dale Chihuly, a local artist, and Phil Phibbs, a retired president of the University of Puget Sounds. The two discussed the need for a glass art museum in Tacoma and took action to get it started. Chihuly started the Pilchuck Glass School in 1970, which helped start this conversation. In the mid 1990s, the idea became more focused and in June 2000 construction on the museum began. Both the Museum of Glass and the Chihuly Bridge of Glass opened on July 6 2002.


The Museum of Glass features both permanent exhibits and special exhibitions. Some of those special exhibits are traveling exhibitions that are booked to be in Tacoma for a short time. Here are some of the permanent exhibits you can look forward to seeing:


Fluent Steps

This exhibit depicts four different moods of water. Fluent Steps spans the entire 210 foot long Main Plaza. The piece is comprised of 754 individually crafted and hand-sculpted pieces of glass created by Martin Blank. The piece has been on exhibit since 2009.


Gathering of Light

Created by Seattle local Cappy Thompson, this painted glass piece shows the story of glass blowing. The Gathering of Light exhibit is 11 ½ feet high and 15 feet wide. The exhibit has been displayed in the museum since 2003.


Production Glass of the 19th and Early 20th Century

This collection displays glass artifacts made in mass production in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It identifies the pieces by their designers, not by the producer.


Contemporary Glass

This collection has been on display in the Museum of Glass since 2000. The collection concentrates on contemporary art made through the medium of glass. A second focus is on contemporary art that uses glass as a secondary or experimental medium.


Spotlight on Dale Chihuly

Chihuly was one of the inspirations for and founders of the Museum of Glass. This exhibition focuses on his glass creations and art collections. Much of his creations are on display and have been since 2017.


Kids Design Class

The Museum of Glass has a kids design program where kids submit designs and the glass blowers create those designs out of glass. This exhibit is fun and imaginative.

Live Glass Making

One of the most intriguing parts of the Museum of Glass in Tacoma is the chance to see glass works of art being made. Everyday, there is live glass blowing in what the museum calls The Hot Shop. Watch the hot shop team create works of art through glass blowing.

The Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Connected to the Museum of Glass is another Tacoma masterpiece, the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. While at the museum, you have to check out the Bridge of Glass, a masterful glass art piece full of different blown glass creations on display. If you love museums and have little kids, also plan to take them to the Children’s Museum of Tacoma.


Photo Credit: Photo By Maccoinnich~commonswiki @,_Tacoma.jpg

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