Another Hobby Blog

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Tiffany Exhibit

On Thursday Gipsieee took me to the local art museum to see a travelling exhibition of Louis Comfort Tiffany's works. There were several of his smaller windows, beautiful examples of his work! (but not the peacock window which is huge and would not travel well.) I could stare at any one of Tiffany's windows for hours at a time and not get bored. Two of the things I love best about the way he created his stained glass windows are 1- the use of multiple layers so that the colors blend and shift as the light strikes them differently or as you move in front of them as a viewer. 2- the use of lumpy 'gemstones' of glass that protrude beyond the boundary of the leaded frame.

There were so many wonderful things to see! Although he is most known for his work with glass, his designs became manifest in almost any form of art and craft imaginable including elaborately carved wooden chairs and simple engravings for wallpaper patterns. At this exhibit we got to see stained glass windows and lamps, blown glass vases and doorstops, enameled inkwells, fanciful jewelry, glass mosaics, a wrought iron and chainlink firescreen and a section of bronze balustrade, several watercolor paintings, a couple of wallpaper patterns, and much more! Since it is a travelling exhibit, most of these pieces came from far away and this may be the only time I see them in person. No photograph can ever replace the opportunity to see them in three dimension, but it's better than nothing and definitely has value for rewakening the memory, so I brought home with me the exhibition catalog and will be drooling on its pages for weeks. :)

So in honor of Tiffany, and because Laurie asked, here are some pictures of my own replica of the Peacock window:

reminder: the unfortunate crack which upset me so deeply

the replacement! No crack!!

Of course, after seeing the state of some of the official windows, maybe a crack or two isn't really that unauthentic. The real windows are just riddled with cracks as the glass carries the strain of so many years and climactic changes. But the real windows are actually leaded, and the leading helps carry the strain so that the whole window doesn't fall apart when one piece gets broken. Since the replica is only color glazed onto a single sheet of glass, it doesn't have that kind of integrity, and became dangerous when it broke. I'm still hopeful for ways in which I can reclaim some of the broken window somehow, and I have a couple of ideas for its transformation.

But for now, I have my peacock back!

Here it sits amidst the glass dust of its previous incarnation. This is only a temporary display to enable the photography, though, because it is in the same type of display stand which did not protect the previous window. I am looking for ways in which I can display the window more safely with the sunlight still behind it. Suggestions are welcome.


  • At Sat Oct 29, 05:41:00 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I realize that I could just walk downstairs and tell you this suggestions, but I'm lazy (and supposed to be doing other things..)

    How about building a shadow box-ish type frame thingy with a sheet of plexi on either side of the glass window? Would that give it enough support to weather a fall in reasonable condition?

  • At Thu Nov 10, 01:21:00 PM PST, Blogger Talitha said…

    Not sure if this is possible in your windows, but my house is old with all solid (very solid) wood window casings and that's where I got the idea. My front window has 4 sections and on the top of each section are two hooks where a person could hang such a gorgeous piece of art on chains from. An idea anyway, even if it won't work for you, lol.

  • At Tue Nov 22, 08:27:00 PM PST, Blogger laurie said…

    pretty pretty...thanks for the picture :-) am hoping you can get the other repaired...and that the other is still intact *ducking and running* ;-)

    (heck of a verification word...zovfk...sounds like some sort of curse lol)

  • At Wed Nov 23, 07:07:00 PM PST, Blogger Peacock said…

    ...I have *a plan* for the shattered window. I don't think it can get repaired, exactly, but I do think that it can get re-made. Into something new and lovely. I was hoping to get started before the holidays set in, but that hasn't happened yet. I'll keep y'all posted as progress occurs.

    The new one is still safe. :) I'm still working on appropriate methods of display. The chains seem like a good option... or some sort of box to encase it... Until then, I'm very very very careful!

  • At Thu Dec 22, 10:11:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I found your blog when doing a search for Tiffany . I plan to go to the exhibit in Seattle over the holidays. My request as a gift from my husband. I am so looking forward to it. I enjoyed your commentary on it! I can not wait to see the items in person too, as I have always enjoyed reading and studying Tiffany in print etc.
    Linda from Washington


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