Tiffany Art Glass from the Morse Collection
Tiffany Studios was arguably the most accomplished maker of art glass in the world in its day and undoubtedly one of the best of all time. Introduced to the public in 1893, after years of experimentation, Tiffany art glass was like no other consumers had ever seen. It was a sensation, universally praised, and widely imitated.
The firm transformed the merely useful domestic object into something of rare beauty. This installation of art glass from the studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) features examples that richly illustrate how Tiffany and his artisans mastered this medium in terms of color, form, and technique. These objects were blown into amazing shapes and formulated into brilliant, often lustrous, hues. Of endless variety, some were made with pitted textures, others were layered to produce special effects, and still others were manipulated to create undulating, mesmerizing patterns.
Tiffany art glass was inspired by an array of sources—antiquity, horticulture, rocks, the flow of lava, and, most of all, Tiffany’s own powerful imagination. Through the exploitation of chemistry, mechanics, and the logistics of production, the artist was able to translate his ideas into splendid objects of astonishing originality.
“The search for beauty is in itself the most wholesome of all quests,” Tiffany wrote in an article for Harper’s Bazaar in 1917. His art glass more than any other medium in which he worked carried the artist’s crusade for beauty into the American home.