Selected Works of Louis Comfort Tiffany from the Morse Collection
November 03, 2008 through September 07, 2014
The work of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) is the centerpiece of the Morse Museum’s collection. Assembled over a 50-year period by Hugh and Jeannette McKean, the Museum’s Tiffany holdings are broad, deep, and unique. They include fine examples in every medium Tiffany explored, in every kind of work he produced, and from every period of his life.
The works exhibited in Galleries I, II, and III have been selected to represent the remarkable diversity of mediums to which Tiffany applied himself over the course of his career—but most importantly the beauty of the individual objects that made Tiffany one of the most celebrated designers of his day. The installation includes more than a dozen leaded-glass windows, as well as many examples of Tiffany art glass, metalwork, lamps, and pottery.
Tiffany’s vast creative enterprise operated under various names through the years, including Louis C. Tiffany & Company (1878–85); Tiffany Glass Company (1885–92); Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company (1892–1900); and Tiffany Studios (1902–32). Additional production support was provided by Stourbridge Glass Company (1893–1902); Tiffany Furnaces, Inc. (1902–19); and Louis C. Tiffany Furnaces, Inc. (1920–28). We are fortunate to have such early Tiffany commissions as a parrots window, c. 1905, designed for the Newport, Rhode Island, vacation home of New York financier William Watts Sherman, and a squash transom, c. 1879, which once graced the dining room in George Kemp’s Fifth Avenue mansion in New York City. The home of the latter, a pharmaceuticals leader, was featured in Artistic Houses: Being a Series of Interior Views of a Number of the Most Beautiful and Celebrated Homes in the United States (1883–84). Lustrous art glass and jeweled metalwork from the 1920s help fill out the picture of Tiffany production.
The objects in these galleries demonstrate the scope and beauty of Tiffany’s work and testify to the McKeans’ incredible vision.