Tiffany Lamps: Articles of Utility, Objects of Art celebrates Louis Comfort Tiffany’s revolutionary contributions to modern decorative lighting. Organized by the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in New York City, this exhibition presents the first in-depth look at the Tiffany Studios’ deliberate efforts to produce lamps that balance artistry with utility and profitability. Over 40 stunning objects in an array of colors, sizes and decorative styles are featured in five sections exploring the themes of fabrication, design inspiration, and changing lighting technologies. The show also includes tools, materials and period photographs to enhance the viewer’s appreciation of the objects by demonstrating how they were made and what influenced the designs.
Tiffany’s lamps are an innovative and successful combination of usefulness and beauty. As articles of utility, reading lamps, floor lamps, and hanging shades come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes to regulate and direct light. As objects of art, the lamps, with their interplay of colored glass and richly sculpted bronze, bring beauty into the home. Whether understated minimal accents of color, or showy, elaborate design statements, Tiffany lamps compliment a diversity of decorative schemes. This exhibition goes beyond the general appreciation of the beauty of Tiffany lamps by examining the artistry and social context of these iconic objects. By creating lamps as objects of both utility and art, Louis Comfort Tiffany realized his goal of making beautiful objects accessible to the public.