Although best known for his work in glass, Louis Comfort Tiffany worked in nearly all the media available to artists and designers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
A celebration of his works, Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection, featuring more than 60 objects and spanning more than 30 years of his career, is coming to the Georgia Museum of Art from Feb. 1 to May 10. This exhibition, focusing on Tiffany’s stained-glass windows, floral vases, lamps, and accessories, revels in the artistry and craftsmanship of objects from Chicago’s distinguished Richard H. Driehaus Collection.
Born in New York City on Feb. 18, 1848, Tiffany began his career as a painter, studying at the National Academy of Design in New York City. Around 1875, he became interested in glassmaking. He preferred to use inexpensive materials because their impurities resulted in the effects he wanted and eventually opened a glass factory to create his own material. In 1894, he patented the term “favrile,” from the Latin word “fabrilis,” meaning handmade, to describe the iridescent blown art glass he was producing. While the quality of Tiffany glass made this medium the most significant of his career, he continued to innovate, expanding into enamels, pottery and jewelry.
Despite the success he experienced in his many interrelated businesses over his career, Tiffany’s work went out of vogue with the advent of modernism, as the influence of art nouveau waned. The mid-20th century brought his work renewed appreciation, and it continues to be associated with unparalleled quality and beauty to this day. Annelies Mondi, the museum’s deputy director, is in-house curator for the traveling exhibition organized by the Richard H. Driehaus Museum and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. David A. Hanks served as curator of the exhibition.
Related exhibition events include:
• the 10th Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts: “Georgia Matters: Celebrating Two Decades of Scholarship,” at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 ($100-$325; details at georgiamuseum.org/greensymposium);
• 90 Carlton: Winter, the museum’s quarterly reception, on Jan. 30 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. (Free for current members, $10 for Friends of the Museum and Supporters, $15 for Not Yet Friends; galleries open until 9:30 p.m.);
• a glass mosaic workshop led by artist Jane Wright on Feb. 8 from 1-4 p.m. ($40; registration is required; call 706-542-4883 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot);
• a public tour with Mondi on Feb. 18 at 2 p.m.;
• a Toddler Tuesday on March 17 at 10 a.m. (free but space is limited; call 706-542-4883 or email email@example.com after Feb. 1 to reserve a spot)
• Art Cart (After Class), a drop-in program for children, on March 18 from 3-4:30 p.m.;
• a Family Day with a glass-blowing demonstration on April 11 from 10 a.m. to noon; and
• a public program for all ages to celebrate the exhibition with glassworking demos, a gallery tour with Mondi and more, also on April 11, from 2-4 p.m.
All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.