Established in 1969, The Neustadt is an independent non-profit collection dedicated to fostering a better understanding and appreciation of the artwork of Louis C. Tiffany. With a focus on Tiffany’s leaded glass, the collection includes an extraordinary array of floral and geometric lamps as well as landscape and figural windows. A unique feature of the collection is a vast, one-of-a-kind archive of original flat glass and pressed-glass “jewels” used by Tiffany Studios, which provides valuable insight into the development of the stained-glass movement in America at the turn of the twentieth century.
In 1995, The Neustadt partnered with the Queens Museum to share its collection with the New York metropolitan area through a permanent Tiffany gallery and educational programming. This partnership has special significance because Tiffany’s glass furnaces, metal foundry and workshops were located in Corona, Queens, less than two miles from the Museum. Portions of the collection are also available to museums across the United States through loans and traveling exhibitions.
The Neustadt was founded by Dr. Egon Neustadt (1898-1984) and his wife Hildegard (1911-1961), Austrian immigrants who amassed an unparalleled collection of Tiffany lamps over the course of fifty years. The Neustadts bought their first Tifany lamp from a second-hand shop in 1935 when Tiffany’s designs were out of fashion. Newly married, they were decorating their home in Queens when they happened upon an old stained-glass daffodil lampshade, “which gave a fascinating effect of real flowers growing in a real garden.” Enamored of all things American, they were delighted to learn that the lampshade was made in the country they now proudly called home. They purchased the lamp for $12.50.
Today, the Neustadts’ passion for Tiffany continues at the Queens Museum. Through changing exhibitions in the Neustadt Gallery, visitors not only enjoy the beauty of this extraordinary collection, but also gain a deeper appreciation of the artwork through a discussion of materials, fabrication processes and historical context.