Dragonfly lamp by Tiffany Studios, shade designed by Clara Driscoll (1861–1944), c. 1902–1906. Blown glass, patinated bronze. Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago; photograph by John Faier.
The distinguished Chicago philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus has pursued Louis Comfort Tiffany’s “quest of beauty” since the early 1980s, when he bought his first stained-glass window attributed to the master artist. Over the next thirty years, Driehaus not only continued to expand his collection of Tiffany artworks but he also purchased the Gilded Age Samuel M. Nickerson mansion in Chicago. After meticulously restoring its aesthetic period interiors and opening it to the public, he established an exhibition space on the second floor, where the inaugural exhibition, Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection, opens this month.
More than sixty Tiffany objects, including stained-glass windows, lamps, vases, accessories, and furniture are displayed together publicly for the first time. Among them is a candelabrum from the chapel exhibited by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company at the 1892 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The exhibition also features a dragonfly lamp of about 1902 composed of a bronze base with a stained-glass shade of green leaves and mottled brown and yellow dragonflies, a motif credited to Tiffany’s principal stained-glass designer and head of the Women’s Glass Cutting Department, Clara Driscoll. The Driehaus Museum in the restored Nickerson mansion is an ideal setting to present these beautiful and intricate pieces of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s extraordinary output. The show is accompanied by a catalogue of the collection.
Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection · Richard H. Driehaus Museum, Chicago · September 28 to June 29, 2014 · driehausmuseum.org