Stained Glass expedition to the Morse Museum

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Yesterday I was treated to an evening exploring the jaw dropping stained glass art of Louis Comfort Tiffany at the Morse Museum in Winter Park, Florida.

Although I had previously visited this incredible museum a number of times, this most recent visit was especially mind blowing. Perhaps it was the choice of pieces on display, my frame of mind , or the point of development in my own work that made this excursion so intense.

Each piece was carefully scrutinized paying special attention to choice of glass, color and technique. The colors on most of the stained glass pieces were so rich in tone one could get lost in the depth of each window. The effects of plating many layers of glass gave the work a realism not found in  many glass artists today. I found one piece particularly interesting with painted roses plated with a transparent glass over the painted pieces. Some of the stained glass panels had 3 layers of glass and from the side looked like a landscape with deep valleys and flat plateaus. I also looked long and hard at the finely crafted reinforcement on the backside of pieces. Because of the multiple plating these windows are seriously reinforced. I noticed one squash panel with vertical plating from top to bottom every twelve inches. And on the larger windows there were the re-rod reinforcement in the front of the piece, as well.

Then we walked into the room housing the daffodil columns. Heavy sigh!  Cast glass flowers, set in cement atop long white columns. These are magnificent. I could envision them in peonies, poppies, roses, zinnias….

Tiffany stained glass

There were 2 points of interest that I was not aware of before my visit this year.

One.  Tiffany Studios did produce some very small single image butterflies and insects in stained glass. I would even venture to say they are rather “sun-catcher-y”. I may have to re-think my aversion to the sun catcher. but-maybe not.

and Two. women produced the majority of the Tiffany lamps. 40-50 women were employed in the Tiffany studios with Clara Driscoll supervising. Ta-DAH!!! In fact, Clara Driscoll designed the dragonfly lampshade which is one of the most popular shades in the Tiffany collection.

Tiffany stained glass lamps

Tiffany stained glass lamp