April 15, 2013

Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection, opening September 28, 2013. 

Sixty works by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his associated firms will be on display throughout the second floor galleries of the Museum, including lamps, stained-glass windows, vases, metalwork and furnishings. All of the works are selected from the Driehaus Collection, one of the country’s significant private collections of Tiffany. 

The best known and most widely collected American artist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co.  He began experimenting with stained glass in 1873 and revolutionized the art form in the years that followed, earning international fame for his innovative use of glass. His New York-based companies are still associated with unsurpassed beauty and originality.

In the 1970s, Richard H. Driehaus, the prominent Chicago businessman, philanthropist, and founder of the Driehaus Museum, started collecting Art Nouveau and Belle Époque posters. Gradually, his interests expanded to include American and European Fine and Decorative Arts. In the thirty-five years since he purchased his first Tiffany stained-glass window, his collection of works by the designer has grown to include approximately 1,500 lamps, vases, decorative objects, and accessories.

“I am delighted to be a part of this exhibition, which combines my twin passions for collecting and preserving late 19th and early 20th century architecture and decorative arts,” says Richard H. Driehaus. “The Nickerson mansion’s restored interiors and the superbly crafted Tiffany objects complement one another perfectly. I view myself as a steward of these beautiful works, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to share my treasures in the context for which many of these objects were originally created.”

Highlights of the exhibition include a bronze Benediction candelabrum created for the Tiffany Chapel at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1892–93 and a one-of-a-kind nautilus shell centerpiece lamp circa 1910. These works will be displayed in the uniquely immersive setting of the Driehaus Museum, located just steps away from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The immaculately restored interiors of the Museum, once the grand Gilded Age-era residence of Chicago banker Samuel M. Nickerson, provide the perfect backdrop for the Tiffany exhibition.

The project team for this exhibit includes curator David A. Hanks and exhibition designer Jeff Daly. David Hanks served as Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago, and is currently the curator of the Stewart Program for Modern Design in Montreal. Jeff Daly served as the Chief Exhibition Designer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for nearly 30 years.

A book about the exhibition, which is comprised of detailed, full-color images by photographer John Faier, explores Richard H. Driehaus’s unique collecting vision and Tiffany Studios’ largely unknown legacy in Chicago. Written by David Hanks with a preface by Richard H. Driehaus, the book will be published by The Monacelli Press in September 2013.

Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection marks the launch of the Driehaus Museum’s exhibition program, which showcases decorative arts of, and inspired by, the domestic interiors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Through this program, the Museum will continue to engage audiences through a variety of initiatives, including public and educational programming such as lectures, concerts, seasonal special events, family programs, and performances; thematic guided tours; private group tours; membership; partnerships with arts and cultural organizations; facility rentals; and outreach programs. A one-day symposium featuring author Michael Burlingham, Tiffany’s great-grandson, will take place in November 2013.

“We are continually seeking to build broader awareness of the Driehaus Museum both locally and internationally while deepening the Museum’s relationship with the regional community and its members,” says Lise Dubé-Scherr, Director of the Driehaus Museum.  “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection further enhances the Museum’s reputation as a national cultural destination with outstanding collections, excellent original programming, and a unique, immersive visitor experience.”

Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection opens at the Driehaus Museum (40 E. Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60611) on September 28, 2013 and will run through June 29, 2014. The presenting sponsor of the exhibition is BMO Harris Bank.

Regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday noon–5 p.m. Effective September 28, 2013, regular Sunday hours will be 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Admission to Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection is included in self-guided general admission. General admission is $20 for adults, $12.50 for seniors ages 65 and over, $10 for students and youth ages 6–12. Children ages 5 and under are free. 

Acoustiguide audio tours of the exhibition will be available in September 2013 and are $5 in addition to general admission. Guided tours of the exhibition are also $5 in addition to general admission and will take place daily at 10:15 and 3:15 p.m. The duration of the tour is approximately 40 minutes. In addition, an hour-long combination tour of the Driehaus Museum and exhibition highlights will commence daily at 1 p.m. Private groups of 10 people or more may book a group tour of the exhibition by calling 312 482 8933, ext. 44.

For general information please call 312 482 8933, ext. 21 or visit DriehausMuseum.org.

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