The Henry Ford in Dearborn will open an exhibition this week featuring work by Louis Comfort Tiffany, a 19th-20th century American artist who worked with a range of media and is best known for his glasswork.
“Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection” is an overview of Tiffany’s master of color and form in a range of materials and decorative styles. It will be on view from March 5 to April 25 in the General Motors Gallery at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.
The show features more than 60 objects spanning more than 30 years of Tiffany’s career. He worked in nearly all of the media available to artists and designers in his time – glass, ceramic, metalwork, jewelry, and painting.
Tiffany worked through a range of objects from common household items to one-of-a-kind masterpieces and earned international acclaim, receiving awards in exhibitions across Europe and the U.S.
His work was collected by museums and private collectors throughout his lifetime and continues to be sought after today. The exhibition at The Henry Ford focuses on his stained-glass windows, floral vases, lamps, and accessories. The work is from the Richard H. Driehaus Collection, a private collection in Chicago.
Tiffany was born in New York City on Feb. 18, 1848 and began his career as a painter, studying at the National Academy of Design in New York City. He later became an interior designer and began working at a glassworks in Brooklyn, where he developed some of his signature methods of making glass and experimented with new glass forms and techniques.
In 1894, he patented the term “Favrile” from the Latin word “fabrilis,” meaning handmade, to describe the iridescent blown art glass he began producing. In 1897, Tiffany bought his own glass furnace in Queens, which produced Favrile and other varieties of glass for ecclesiastical and secular stained glass windows, lamps, vases, mosaics, and accessories.
Tiffany also worked in enamels, pottery, and jewelry. His work went out of style with the advent of modernism but received renewed appreciation in the mid-20th century. Tiffany died in 1933.
The exhibition is free with membership or admission to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.
The Henry Ford includes the museum, Greenfield Village, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, Benson Ford Research Center, and Henry Ford Academy.