A travelling collection of 60 exquisite works by Louis Comfort Tiffany has opened in the first of seven venues across the nation – at the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati.
Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection spans 30 years of Tiffany’s design career and showcases a wide range of his objects and ingenuity.
Pieces in the exhibition were drawn from the extensive collection of Chicago fund manager and philanthropist Richard Driehaus.
“He’s has been collecting since the 1970s, when Tiffany’s work was far more available and affordable at that time,” says Lynne Ambrosini, deputy director and Sallie Robinson Wadsworth chief curator at the museum. “There is depth, breadth and many masterpieces – works that make you understand that Tiffany was a truly great artist.”
Each piece in the exhibition was chosen by a guest curator for the Chicago-based Driehaus museum. “David Hanks has a long specialization in the history of decorative arts,” she says. “He and Mr. Driehaus put together the collection to share around the country.”
Known for his stained glass, Tiffany was prolific in many other art forms as well, and this exhibition demonstrates how he achieved a sense of unity within an entire interior. It includes work in stained glass to be sure, but also metal work, vases, lamps, windows, furniture and decorative objects.
The best works were the interiors he combined with many media – there’s a richness in patterning all toward a goal of harmonious unity,” she says. “Stained glass is only one – and this exhibit is a comprehensive sampling of the different media in which he worked.”
Tiffany found his inspiration in the natural world – his work was derived from landscapes, plants and animals. “But he was also inspired by the Aesthetic Movement, and the Arts and Crafts Movement, which valued handmade over new, industrially produced objects, she says. “So fine craftsmanship was essential to everything he made.”
The exhibition runs through May 27.
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