Visitors to the Paine Art Center and Gardens may find themselves in a daze upon viewing the technical, creative brilliance of Louis Comfort Tiffany that shines from each kaleidoscopic lamp, iridescent vase, prismatic window and other luminous creations on view throughout the historic mansion beginning this weekend.
Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection opens 10 a.m. Saturday at the Paine, 1410 Algoma Blvd.
Fans of Tiffany’s work are in for a treat. The exhibition presents more than 60 works from the artist’s primary production: stained-glass windows, lamps, vases, flower-form vases, furnishings and accessories.
On view along with the main exhibition are 15 extraordinary Tiffany lamps from the Paine’s collection and regional private collections, which are presented throughout the mansion’s many rooms. Displaying the lamps within domestic settings — as Tiffany intended — illustrates the artist’s desire to bring beauty into American homes, said Laura Fiser, curator of collections and exhibitions at the Paine.
Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection also represents the culmination of businessman and philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus’s 35 years of collecting the artist’s work. His collection includes more than 1,500 objects created by Tiffany’s various workshops and firms. Organized by the Richard H. Driehaus Museum and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC., a selection from this distinctive collection is being exhibited nationally for the first time, with the Paine being its second venue.
“Among the best known of American artists”
Trained as an artist, Tiffany achieved success not only in glass, but also in ceramics, enamel, metalwork, jewelry and interior design. No other American artist has matched his versatility, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum states.
Tiffany was born in New York City in 1848 and began his career as a painter. He expanded his repertoire through his work as an interior designer and soon began working at a glassworks in Brooklyn. There, he developed some of his signature methods of making glass, as well as experimented with new glass forms and techniques.
In 1894, he patented the poetic term “Favrile,” which is from the Latin word fabrilis, meaning handmade, to describe the iridescent, blown art glass he began producing. In late 1897, Tiffany built his own glass furnace in Corona, Queens, New York, which produced Favrile and other unique varieties of glass for use in ecclesiastical and secular stained glass windows, lamps, vases, mosaics and accessories, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum states.
Church congregations all over the country, including two in Oshkosh, commissioned religious and memorial windows from Tiffany into the 1920s, Fiser said. Libraries, schools, and individuals — such as the Sawyers in Oshkosh, whose home later became the Oshkosh Public Museum — sought out his windows illustrating landscapes, seascapes, and gardens.
Tiffany earned international acclaim and received prestigious awards across Europe and the United States, the Richard H. Driehaus Museum states. When Tiffany died in 1933, the New York Times obituary counted him “among the best known of American artists.” His work is associated with unparalleled quality and beauty, and continues to be highly sought after today.
Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection is on view at the Paine June 23 to September 23, 2018. During the exhibition, the Paine features the extended hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Make plans for a visit at www.thepaine.org.
The Paine is partnering with the Oshkosh Public Museum, which has an authentic, large-scale Tiffany window. The landscape-themed, stained glass window was recently relit with LED backlighting and gleams with magnificence.
Visitors may receive $2 off regular admission to the Oshkosh Public Museum by showing a paid admission receipt to the Paine. Members of the Paine also receive $2 off regular admission. The offer is valid from June 23 to September 23, 2018.
Photos by Ken Cravillion Photography.