The Cincinnati Art Museum will host Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light, a stunning exhibition of iconic works by Louis C. Tiffany (1848-1933), April 1–August 13, 2017. The exhibition is organized by The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in Queens, New York.
Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light includes five windows, 20 lamps and 100 pieces of opalescent flat glass and glass “jewels” that illustrate the rich expanse of color, texture and opacity available to the artists creating remarkable works of art at the Tiffany Studios. The windows and lamps on display are celebrated examples of Tiffany’s work and include Well by the Fence, a window conceived by Tiffany Studios designer Agnes Northrop, and lamps such as the Dragonfly model originated by Tiffany designer, Clara Driscoll.
“The pieces were chosen for their masterful rendering of nature in flowers or landscape scenes and for the subtle use of light and shading in decorative geometric patterns,” explains Lindsy Parrott, Director and Curator of The Neustadt. “They exemplify the rich and varied glass palette, sensitive color selection and intricacy of design so characteristic of Tiffany’s leaded-glass objects.”
Accompanying these works are educational models and tools illustrating how leaded-glass shades are fabricated and three examples of Tiffany lamp forgeries to explore issues of authenticity and connoisseurship.
To enhance the experience, visitors will have the opportunity to use their own mobile devices to watch a variety of short videos on select pieces in the exhibition. The Cincinnati Art Museum will also create a podcast tour of Tiffany Glass. Supplementary materials will highlight examples of Tiffany glass from the Cincinnati Art Museum’s own permanent collection, including four stunning and recently conserved leaded-glass windows and a new hanging shade and vase recently gifted to the Museum.
Amy Dehan, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Cincinnati Art Museum, leads the exhibition in Cincinnati. “It is incredibly exciting to bring these works to Cincinnati. Tiffany Studios’ work was inspired and revolutionary. Tiffany and his team of artists were looking at glass and light in a new way—as tools for painting. Visitors will be taken by the beauty and ingenuity of the artworks in the exhibition and, in turn, see and understand the Tiffany works in our permanent collection as they have not before.”
This exhibition also highlights some of the key figures at the Tiffany Studios who made essential contributions to its success: chemist Arthur J. Nash (1849–1934) and leading designers Agnes Northrop (1857–1953), Frederick Wilson (1858-1932) and Clara Driscoll (1861–1944).
Trained as a painter, Tiffany was captivated by the interplay of light and color, and this fascination found its most spectacular expression in his glass “paintings.” Through the medium of opalescent glass, Tiffany could capture light in color and manipulate it to achieve impressionistic effects. Using new and innovative techniques and materials, Tiffany Studios created timeless leaded-glass windows and lampshades in vibrant colors and richly varied patterns, textures and opacities.
For more than 25 years, The Neustadt has actively shared its renowned collection with museums across the country. Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light was recently featured at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library in Delaware.
Dr. Egon Neustadt (1898–1984), founder of The Neustadt, began acquiring Tiffany lamps in 1935 with his wife Hildegard (1911–1961). The couple bought their first Tiffany lamp from a secondhand shop in Greenwich Village when Louis C. Tiffany’s designs were out of fashion and at odds with popular tastes.
The two went on to acquire an encyclopedic collection, including the sheet glass and glass jewels that remained after the closing of Tiffany Studios in the late 1930s. This collection contains over a quarter of a million pieces of glass and is the only holding of its kind. With both materials and objects, The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass is uniquely positioned to fully explore Louis C. Tiffany’s legacy of painting with color and light.
The Cincinnati Art Museum’s display of the Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light exhibition is presented by Truepoint Wealth Counsel. This exhibition is proudly supported by Marcia and Ronald Joseph. The media sponsor is Sophisticated Living.
Jill E. Dunne
Cincinnati Art Museum