Eternal Light at the Driehaus Museum

23 January 2020

“Education” (1890), an iconic work by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Glass Co.
“Education” (1890), an iconic work by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Glass Co.

Close to 1000M and tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the Magnificent Mile, The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is a beautiful Gilded Age mansion that houses innovative, breathtaking exhibitions inside its walls. Currently on display there, Eternal Light: The Sacred Stained Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany, focuses on the iconic stained-glass work of this renowned American artist. 

 

The dome at the Chicago Cultural Center, designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
The dome at the Chicago Cultural Center, designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

The Life and Work of Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) was an American artist and designer in the decorative arts, best known for his work in stained glass. Not only is he the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic movements, but he was also first Design Director at his family company…a place you may have heard of called Tiffany & Co

Born in New York City, Tiffany first entered the glassmaking trade in the same city, working at several glasshouses in Brooklyn during the 1870s. His leadership and talent, alongside his father’s money and connections, allowed his work to thrive in the industry. Throughout his lifespan working in the decorative arts, Tiffany designed the interior of the Mark Twain House in Hartford, exhibited lamps in the 1893 World’s Fair in chicago, created countless church stained-glass displays and even designed the magnificent glass art of the dome topping the Chicago Cultural Center. 

 

Eternal Light: The Sacred Stained Glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany

The stunning Eternal Light exhibit at the Driehaus Museum focuses on the design and production of Tiffany’s ecclesiastical window commissions. The exhibition centers on eleven outstanding and religiously themed windows made by Tiffany between 1880 and 1925. 

Divided into three sections, the exhibit explores Tiffany’s stained-glass making process from conception to execution, his marketing genius during the World’s Fair and finally the designer’s creative and artistic capacity, through ten show-stopping stained-glass windows and one memorial chandelier.

To further underscore Tiffany’s talents, and his impact on Chicago’s art and architecture, the Driehaus Museum also offers Chicago’s Tiffany Trail, a fourteen-stop interactive self-guided tour through the city. The tour deepens the themes and significance of the main exhibit, and is available via the app Vamonde, available on iPhone and Android.

 

The Richard M. Driehaus Museum is located at 40 E Erie Street, Chicago, IL. They are open Tuesday – Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM. For more information on planning your visit, check out their website.