Tiffany's Glass Mosaics at Corning Museum of Glass
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When you hear the words “Tiffany” and “glass,” you may immediately think of leaded glass windows or luminous lamps, but artist Louis C. Tiffany expressed his passion for color and glass most innovatively in the technique of mosaic. From monumental architectural installations to inkwells for desktops, Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics will be the first museum exhibition focused exclusively on this aspect of Tiffany’s extraordinary artistic career.
The exhibition features nearly 50 works dating from the 1890s to the 1920s, from intimately-scaled, mosaic fancy goods designed for use in the home to large-scale, mosaic panels and architectural elements composed of thousands of individual pieces of glass. In addition, more than 1,000 pieces of original Tiffany glass are included on loan from The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, Queens, New York.
Walking into the exhibition, visitors will see one of the grand mosaic columns made for the company’s turn-of-the-20th-century showrooms in New York City. They can peruse the luxurious mosaic fancy goods, lamps, and decorative panels that originally adorned the grand new private residences built by American financiers and industrialists. Tiffany’s firm produced a variety of marketing materials to promote glass mosaics, and visitors to the exhibition can get a sense of what it was like to be a Tiffany customer.
Visitors also get to explore the process behind the creation of Tiffany’s mosaics—from the beginning, when detailed watercolor studies were presented to clients, to the creation of mosaic sample panels used to guide glass selection for special commissions. Gain an appreciation for the skill and artistry of Tiffany’s glass selectors and cutters through our workroom interactives and video screens. Explore the innovative types of glass used to create two of Tiffany’s most important mosaic commissions, The Dream Garden (1916) and Jacques Marquette’s Expedition (1895). Compare the glass selection in Tiffany’s three versions of the mosaic panel, The Last Supper(1897, 1898, 1902). Watch videos of the CMoG team demonstrating the processes of iridescence and glass cutting. Go behind-the-scenes with co-curators, Kelly Conway and Lindsy Parrott, who reveal a journey of discovery for the grand mosaic commission at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church (1920). Visitors can also try out glass selection for themselves in a modern-day, Tiffany-inspired, mosaic design made especially for the exhibition.
Treasured by local communities, many of Tiffany’s glass mosaics still survive today, tucked away in churches, libraries, universities and other public buildings. These mosaics will be presented in a specially-created “Mosaic Theater,” in which multiple high-definition monitors will showcase CMoG’s new photography of these important artworks. Visitors to the exhibition can experience these mosaics in stunning detail and like never before. Come appreciate the design, glass selection, and craftsmanship that was the hallmark of Tiffany’s glass mosaics.