Copper in the Arts

July 2008

Tiffany by Design on View at Frist

Tiffany Dragonfly Lamp Tiffany Dragonfly Library Lamp

Photo courtesy of The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, Long Island City, NY  

Now that you've learned about the legacy of Tiffany Studios, see these stunning works of art in person at this traveling exhibition. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts presents Tiffany by Design, celebrating the artistry and craftsmanship of the colorful leaded glass lamps produced by Tiffany Studios between 1900 and 1918, on view through August 24.

The exhibition examines the intricate design and complex fabrication of 40 lamps, including chandeliers and desk, library, and hanging lamps, created by craftsmen in Tiffany Studios in New York under the direction of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Examining every aspect of the lamps—from the beautifully crafted bronze bases and finials to the radiant colors of the leaded glass shades—Tiffany by Design reveals what makes these designs so extraordinary.

Signature pieces featured in the Tiffany by Design exhibition include Dragonfly Library Lamp (1905–1910); Favrilefabrique Reading Lamp (ca. 1915); Daffodil Library Lamp (1900–1910); Turtleback Chandelier (ca. 1905); Lotus Pagoda Library Lamp (1895–1900); Peony Library Lamp (1905–1910) and Pond Lily Library Lamp (1900–1910).

The exhibition also presents new evidence for the vital role of women in the Tiffany firm. Recently discovered letters show that Clara Driscoll, a longtime Tiffany Studios employee, designed some of the most iconic Tiffany lampshades. Without diminishing Tiffany’s own reputation, the exhibition endeavors to show that his artistic vision served as the inspiration and guide for all the artists and artisans who worked for him.

Tiffany by Design features works from The Neustadt Collection. Dr. Egon Neustadt and his wife, Hildegard, began their collection with the purchase of one lamp in 1935. For the next five decades, they assembled an extensive collection of Tiffany lamps and glass. In 1970, Dr. Neustadt published The Lamps of Tiffany, which remains a standard reference on the range of styles, designs and colors of the lamps and glass created at Tiffany Studios.

“In terms of the variety, number and quality of Tiffany lamps, few museums anywhere in the world can compare with The Neustadt Collection,” says Trinita Kennedy, associate curator at the Frist Center. “This exhibition is able to demonstrate precisely what sets Tiffany lamps apart from the imitations found in so many antique shops.”

Resources:

Frist Center for the Visual Arts, 919 Broadway, Nashville, TN, (615) 244-3340

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