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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer of Light: 'Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light' in Hoopes Gallery

As a painter, Louis C. Tiffany was captivated by the interplay of light and color, and this fascination found its most spectacular expression in his glass “paintings.” 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.

Organized by The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, Long Island City, New York , Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light is comprised of three windows, sixteen lamps, and seventy-five pieces of opalescent flat glass and pressed-glass “jewels” that illustrate the rich expanse of color and light available to the artists at the Tiffany Studios. The objects on display are some of the most iconic and celebrated of Tiffany’s works. Chosen for their masterful rendering of nature in flowers or landscape scenes and for the subtle use of light and shading in decorative geometric patterns, they exemplify the rich and varied glass palette, sensitive color selection, and intricacy of design that was characteristic of Tiffany’s leaded-glass objects. In addition to an exploration of materials and their effects, the exhibition also discusses the contributions of two of Tiffany’s leading designers, Clara Driscoll and Agnes Northrop.

Dr. Egon Neustadt, the founder of The Neustadt Collection, began acquiring Tiffany lamps in 1935, when the excess of the Gilded Age was still out of fashion, and went on to amass an almost encyclopedic collection. Perhaps his most significant acquisition came in 1967 when he purchased the flat and pressed glass leftover from the closing of the Tiffany Studios in the late 1930s. This collection contains some 275,000 pieces of glass and is the only holding of its kind. With both materials and objects, The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass is uniquely positioned to fully explore Louis C. Tiffany’s legacy of painting with color and glass.

Tiffany Studios, New York, Apple Blossom Library Lamp, Leaded glass and bronze, 29 1/2 x 25 in. diameter, The Neustadt Collection Tiffany Glass

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