This summer, the KIA celebrates the work of one of America’s most influential designers, Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). In three exhibitions, visitors will delight in seeing the range of Tiffany’s design work: his sumptuous Art Nouveau jewelry, his spectacular leaded-glass lamps and windows and his exquisite work in blown glass, metals and mosaics. Tiffany’s work, featured on both gallery levels, is the summer’s not-to-be-missed experience in Kalamazoo.
After developing his famed Favrile glass, Louis Comfort Tiffany served as the lead jewelry designer for his father’s company, Tiffany & Co., beginning in 1902. At the height of the Art Nouveau period in Europe and America, his elegant jewelry designs were informed by a love of nature and exotic Middle Eastern cultures. Fueled by the exposure they received in several international expositions, Tiffany’s jewelry designs became popular around the world. Kalamazoo is the exclusive venue for the exhibition, which was organized by the KIA.
Tiffany & Co. Archives
Toledo Museum of Art
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Mr. Richard H. Driehaus
Mr. Neil Lane
As a painter, Louis C. Tiffany was captivated by the interplay of light and color, and this fascination found its most spectacular expression in his glass “paintings.” Through the medium of opalescent glass, Tiffany could actually capture light in color and manipulate it to achieve impressionistic effects. Using new and innovative techniques and materials, Tiffany Studios created leaded-glass windows and lampshades in vibrant colors and richly varied patterns, textures, and opacities. Tiffany Glass: Painting with Color and Light is composed of three windows, sixteen lamps, and seventy-five pieces of opalescent flat glass that illustrate the rich expanse of color and light available to the artists at the Tiffany Studios.
Since 2006, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts has formed an impressive collection of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany. Examples of his Favrile glass vases, mosaics, ceramics and jewelry, as well as a leaded-glass and bronze lamp, a painting, a drawing and a large enameled vase illustrate the range of Tiffany’s design expertise. Many of the works are included in this exhibition; others are on view in the galleries on the lower level.