Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light

An Exhibit Open to the Public Free of Charge

Tiffany Well by Fence Window, c. 1910
Tiffany Well by Fence Window, c. 1910. Photo courtesy of The Neustadt Collection

Where: Woodson Art Museum, 700 North 12th Street, Wausau, Wisconsin 54403

When: December 3, 2016 – February 26, 2017

Hours: Visit the Woodson Art Museum website for information on hours

A special traveling exhibit from the Neustadt Collection titled “Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light” has been making its rounds for the past few years and will continue into 2017. The sponsored exhibit is open to the public and free of charge allowing anyone with an interest in Tiffany glass to visit.

The exhibit features five windows, 14 lamps, and 75 pieces of opalescent flat glass and glass “jewels” that illustrate the rich expanse of color and light available to the artists who crafted varied wares at New York-based Tiffany Studios, which was founded by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). Tiffany’s training as a painter translated beautifully to glass, especially the “interplay between color and light” highlighted in this exhibit, and the workers in his studio expanded upon his vision for what fine leaded glass should comprise.  

"The exhibition highlights the contributions of Tiffany Studios chemist Arthur J. Nash and leading designers Agnes Northrop, Frederick Wilson, and Clara Driscoll and also includes an educational model illustrating how leaded-glass shades are fabricated along with examples of Tiffany lamp forgeries to explore issues of authenticity and connoisseurship," noted Woodson Art Museum on its website.

Using new and innovative techniques and materials, Tiffany Studios created leaded-glass windows and lampshades in vibrant colors and richly varied patterns, textures, and opacities, shared press profile released on behalf of Layfayette College in conjunction to their March, 2016 exhibition. Prior to being shown at Layfayette, the exhibit was on display at Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, Delaware, and several other notable venues in years past.

It is interesting to note that Layfayette College is linked to Tiffany through his second wife, Louise Wakeman Knox. She was the daughter of Lafayette President James Hall Mason Knox, and through that association two “superb” Tiffany windows were installed at the college. The Neustadt display was installed around those cherished windows so they could be highlighted and celebrated during the exhibition.

About the Neustadt Collection

For those unfamiliar with the Neustadt Collection, it is a world class assemblage of Tiffany’s work including his famed lamps, leaded glass windows, metalwork, and prized archival materials. A gallery dedicated to the collection resides at the Queens Museum in New York City. Traveling exhibits like “Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light” allow museum visitors throughout the United States to view selections from the vast collection.

“Through the medium of opalescent glass, Tiffany could actually capture light in color and manipulate it to achieve impressionistic effects. Using new and innovative techniques and materials, Tiffany Studios created leaded-glass windows and lampshades in vibrant colors and richly varied patterns, textures, and opacities,” shares the Neustadt website.

The founder of The Neustadt, Dr. Egon Neustadt, acquired his first Tiffany lamps in 1935 and went on to “amass an almost encyclopedic collection.” It is said that his most significant purchase took place in 1967, however, when he bought the glass left behind after Tiffany Studios closed in the late 1930s. Some of these samples will be on display at Layfayette College.

Learning More About Tiffany's Works

For those wanting to learn more about Tiffany and his work, the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida, holds an extensive collection including many artifacts salvaged from his Long Island, New York home Laurelton Hall. The exhibits in the Morse also includes the jewelry of Louis Comfort Tiffany, many stained glass examples, and other glassware made by Tiffany Studios.

One of the highlights, however, is a display that recreates the Tiffany Chapel, an installation that first stood at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The recreation of the Tiffany Chapel has been aptly described as "Tiffany in three dimensions” by the Orlando Sentinel and is a treat for any devotee.