Library lamp, c. 1901

No. 342, Wistaria design lamp and shade, large

Leaded glass, bronze Tiffany Studios, New York City, 1902–32
Designer: Clara Driscoll, American, 1861–1944

Marks on base: TIFFANY STUDIOS / NEW YORK / [conjoined TGDco]

27 x 18 in. (70-020)

In 1902, the Prima Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Decorativa Moderna, in Turin, Italy, focused on the link between beautiful objects and useful things. This ambitious exposition was especially important to manufacturers of decorative art because emphasis was placed upon original objects that showed a true aesthetic renewal of the form. Tiffany Studios was awarded a grand prize for two lamps that transformed standard lamp forms into electrified sculptures from nature: the Pond Lily and Wistaria lamps. No longer having to accommodate a fuel source such as oil, the delicate form of the Pond Lily lamp housed only wire and small light bulbs that followed the natural down-turned orientation of the lilies. According to Tiffany scholar Robert Koch, the lily lamp was the most popular of all Tiffany lamps. On the Wistaria lamp, the bronze vine completely envelops the top of the shade, leaving minimal piercing. These designs were possible because electricity did not require the same level of ventilation as an open-flame model.