...the very most fantabulous Holiday vitrines ever.
We discovered them while doing some zen wandering down in Cherry Creek with our family on the way to a sushi dinner. My husband is particularly good at discovering the most fantastic things while zen wandering...he's a sort of diviner that way.
These windows were designed for a holiday project staged by Denver's Museum of Outdoor arts. The exhibit is called Magical Holiday Machines: The Wondrous Keep of Emry Gweldig, and the designer is Denver artist Lonnie Hanzon, whose career has run the gamut from the performing arts and fashion design to major public works and intallations.
My hat is off to Hanzon...I have long been a fan of magical vitrines, but none has inspired me quite as much as this extensive work.
Here, you can see where I got the idea for my ephemeral apothecary. I'd like to make it a permanent installation in our house...if only I can find the space. We're a couple of magpies.

This dancer in her rotating glass cage kept catching on the hems of my imagination.

I love chalkboards, and I love fantastical and incongruous equations. Makes me think of Max Fisher and the most difficult math problem in the world.

Very Whoville-esque.

A cousin, captivated.
Dancing golden shoes.

Possibly my favorite...the "arrivals and departures" sign just sets my skin tingling!
The Q, rapt in front of the caged dancer, easily her favorite magical mystery machine.

It's difficult to make out, but this bejewelled gypsy train makes its way through steep, velvet mountains into a sky full of gilded clouds.

The magical end to this tale is that, a few days later on a frigid, crystalline afternoon, I decided to bundle up the Q and go back during the daylight hours to take some more photos, thinking I could get better light on some of the displays. Now, Cherry Creek is an area we know quite well. I parked in the structure by Whole Foods, carrying a thoroughly swaddled Q, set off past Hapa Sushi (where we had eaten dinner that night) in the direction that I remembered finding the vitrines. We walked...and walked...and walked. Round and round a six-by-three-block radius, up and down the streets with their holiday windows. No magical mystery machines. I could find neither the windows, nor the building, nor the open square in which they had been located.
It was like they had been just a mirage, there for us to discover on a single special night, and vanished in the mist with the daylight.
Though I really had hoped for some more photos, I suppose it's really better this way.


Yoli said...

Funny you should post this, I saw last week a special of him putting together this display. I saw it on HGTV. It was wonderful they highlighted all the holiday windows. He usually does the windows for Neiman Marcus in Dallas but this year I was thrilled he was in Denver doing this large scale exibit. He went to all the hardware stores and got a bunch of stuff which he incorporated into the display. I love watching the holiday windows display special every year, so that I can see what he comes up with next. He is a genious.

You Know Where You Are With said...

Not to diminish the mystery too much, but if you want to go back, the address is 158 Filmore. Through January 4th.

Passers-by peek in on a holiday window designed by Lonnie Hanzon during its installation in November. (Brian Brainerd, The Denver Post)
Holiday Machines: The Wondrous Keep of Emry Gweldig"

Holiday display. 158 Fillmore St., Cherry Creek North. An animated, multimedia window display conceived by artist Lonnie Hanzon, creative director of the Museum of Outdoor Arts in Englewood. Through Jan. 4. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Free. 303-806-0444 or

"Holiday Windows"

Television. HGTV. A one-hour behind- the-scenes look at the creation of top holiday store windows across the country, including one in Cherry Creek North. 3 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Wednesday, 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday and midnight Dec. 26.

Tamara said...

I love the vitrines! They remind me, in an odd way, of this odd place in the middle of nowhere in Wisconsin, called house on the rock, a labor of love and imagination for decades by this blue collar worker by day/ creative whiz on his own time. Arocious marketing, but it was quite magical. We'd make a holiday pilgrimage there in Dec. and have it almost to ourselves and I always loved it.