This afternoon I visited a vibrantly beautiful new exhibition at Winterthur Museum. Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light is exactly that - a glowing selection of some of the most iconic leaded glass works designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Organized by The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, the exhibition includes several large windows as well as the justly famous lamps, some anchored by bronze bases or suspended like brilliant lanterns in the air. Forget all those cheesy bad replicas in casual dining restaurants - the originals are breathtaking works of art, like jewels of light.
While I'd known that the Tiffany shades were leaded glass - small pieces of colored glass fitted together and held together with strips of copper and lead - I hadn't realized that the process was much like making a mosaic. There was no additional painting or tinting of the pieces of glass. Each piece of specially made opalescent glass was chosen individually to fit the design by skilled craftspeople. It must have been painstaking work, but the care and artistry showed in every item.
One of the things that really brought the lamps to life were the "jewels," molded pieces of colored glass in various shapes that were used as accents along with the pieces of flat glass. The jewels were a Tiffany speciality, and added texture as well as color. The jewels are particularly evident in the dragonfly shade, above left - they're the rounded bubbles of luminous blue glass. Magic!
I'm going to share more about the fascinating process of creating the shades in a future blog. The exhibition runs now through January 3, 2016; click here for more information.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.