Go big or go home could be the motto of The Morse Museum in Winter Park, Florida. It boasts “the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933), including the artist and designer’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows; his chapel interior from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago; and art and architectural objects from his Long Island country estate, Laurelton Hall.” Since my husband enjoys all aspects of Tiffany’s comprehensive output, we stopped by the museum on our way to our eventual Florida vacation destination.
There are also paintings and decorative art objects by some of Tiffany’s contemporaries on display as well; and many are worthy of study. Yet I came away stunned by the cumulative effect of Tiffany’s prolific output. Obviously, the work was made by artisans in his studios, but many of the designs and the solutions to technical challenges were Tiffany’s.
He began as a European trained painter, and his works show talent in my opinion. But early on he decided he wasn’t going to rise to the top of a crowded field, and he studied techniques and methods of glassmaking. He then went into the decorative arts, with commissions from several famous clients. In addition to being an astute businessman, he continued to innovate in glass manufacture, and joined new techniques to his aesthetic that nature should be the primary design inspiration for art.
Enough background. Here are just a few of the pieces that wowed me.
There’s room after room of very high quality work. The effect becomes overwhelming after a bit. The rooms Tiffany designed for his country estate seem a bit heavy to my taste, but he was working with a 1600 square foot living room and an even larger dining room. And he designed everything in the rooms, down to the pattern in the carpet.
This museum is well worth a visit if you are in the Orlando area, and the downtown of Winter Park is charming. Just avoid I-4 if you can.
I’m linking to Off The Wall Fridays.