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"Tiffany: Behind the Glass"
2000-10-24 until 2001-01-29
Queens Museum of Art
Queens, NY, USA

A highly interactive exhibition of glassworks by legendary master of American decorative arts and Queens entrepreneur, Louis Comfort Tiffany, will be on display at the Queens Museum of Art, October 24, 2000 - February 4, 2001. Unlike previous shows that focused exclusively on the finished products, Tiffany: Behind the Glass will examine the complete process of construction, manufacture, marketing, and conservation of lamp and window productions from the Tiffany studio in Corona, Queens. The exhibition is organized in conjunction with the Neustadt Museum of Tiffany Art.

Tiffany Behind the Glass is displayed in six parts:

Section one offers an overview of the unique raw materials used in the manufacture of Tiffany glass and examines the innovative techniques used in its production.

Section two explores Tiffany's method of constructing opalescent stained-glass windows. Interactive projects allow the audience to participate in assembling a stained glass window and manipulate pane colors to demonstrate how his artisans achieved the unique Tiffany palette.

Section three introduces the work of four leading Tiffany designers whose valuable contributions have diminished over the years with the ascension of Tiffany's reputation. Recent research has shed light on how these artists influenced the studio dynamic.

Sections four and five address Tiffany's revolutionary marketing concepts and techniques. Expanding the traditional commissioned style of manufacturing, Tiffany offered his wide range of styles to the largest consumer audience possible. A public showroom within the exhibition will recreate the variety of glass selections produced by his studio.

The sixth, and final, portion of the exhibition, addresses conservation issues, forgery, glass substitution, fragmentation, and restoration. The centerpiece of this section is a large narrative window that was originally located in a Chicago church and recently underwent extensive conservation. The process is documented on video and available for viewing. In addition, visitors will be invited to examine an array of unidentified lamps and windows-- some authentic, some forgeries-- to determine which items are genuine articles.

Tiffany: Behind the Glass will be curated by Elizabeth DeRosa and designed by Pat Pauly.


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