Focusing on Louis Comfort Tiffany’s passion for stained glass as a way to bring nature’s splendid color into the home, this exhibition explores Tiffany’s vivid designs in relation to emerging artistic and craft movements at the turn of the 20th century.
Through the dynamic, illuminated display of 20 of the designer’s finest stained glass table and floor lamps and featuring the iconic Hinds House stained glass window, Tiffany in Bloom introduces visitors to the magic that Tiffany created with thousands of shards of glass and the “newfangled” power of electric light. Period photographs and accounts of his artisans also provide a glimpse into Tiffany’s shop and studio. His method of design, production, and marketing; his reliance on women designers, such as Ohio native Clara Driscoll; and his alliances with both his father’s firm (Tiffany & Co.) and his European counterpart Siegfried Bing (Maison de l’Art Nouveau) lift the curtain on Tiffany’s special brand of artistic creation and success.
Rare masterworks such as the Wisteria, Peacock, Bamboo, and Peony lamps highlight important thematic groups that focus on Tiffany’s many stylistic influences, from Asian to Art Nouveau. The stained glass techniques used by Tiffany’s artisans reveal the firm’s unparalleled standard of quality and the designer’s love for the infinite possibilities of iridescence, texture, and color in manipulating light. Most of the works in this exhibition recently joined the museum’s collection through the generous bequest of Charles Maurer, a Cleveland industrialist and renowned collector of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany in Bloom celebrates this extraordinary gift by providing an unprecedented opportunity to view so many of Tiffany’s great lamps together in a veritable bouquet of splendor.