The designs of Tiffany and Company paid homage to nature, so why shouldn’t nature return the compliment? In what’s billed as the first Tiffany exhibition set in a botanical garden, Sarasota, Florida’s Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is presenting Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature, a show that brings the Tiffany touch with color and light to bear on the living world.
Floriform stained glass panels have been installed throughout the garden. Orchid-shaped stained glass elements mounted on a specially built gazebo in the form of a Tiffany lampshade cast dappled fuschia, orange, and yellow patterns around the fountain inside it; the succulents garden is set off with panels in the form of stylized silhouettes of Agave americana plants; the conservatory is arrayed with free-hanging stained glass in the shape of orchids and other flora.
Examples of Tiffany work that inspired the exhibition are on view in the garden’s Museum of Botany and the Arts. These include classics like the Dragonfly and Daffodil lamps and the favrile glass Jack-in-the-Pulpit vase, as well as less familiar Tiffany designs, such as the Laburnum lamp and the Gooseneck vase, which looks like a vegetal visitor from outer space.
Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature • Marie Selby Botanical Gardens • Sarasota, Florida • to June 25 • selby.org