Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tiffany Lamp Exhibit at Biltmore Estate

We went to Biltmore Estate last week and saw the new exhibit, known as “Tiffany Lamps: Articles of Utility, Objects of Art,” It comes to Biltmore from The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in New York City. The exhibit features forty five stained glass lamps created by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) and The Tiffany Studios. Tools, period glass and photographs detailing how the lamps were made are also on display. The exhibit will be at The Biltmore Legacy exhibition hall in Antler Hill Village through Oct. 23.

Most of us know about the little blue box that Tiffany & Co puts the exquisite little gem surrounded by gold or silver in. LC’s father created that company. But, we have also seen Tiffany style hanging lamps in pubs and restaurants throughout the western world. The Tiffany style lamps that we all know and love do not do justice to the real thing. This collection will take your breath away. Even the lamp bases were beautiful. It took a lot of self-control not to reach out and try to touch these incredible lamps. The artists’ eye for color, texture and design are remarkable. Did you know that Louis Comfort Tiffany got most of his inspirations from everyday objects like flowers, dragonflies and trees?

Louis Comfort Tiffany was an established painter and was famous for his work in interior design when he started experimenting with stained glass. You can see some of his design work in the White House Blue Room, East Room and Entrance. He opened his own glassworks factory for stain glass and mosaics in 1885. Some of his earliest lamps were exhibited at the Chicago’s Worlds’ Fair in 1893. During this same time period George Vanderbilt was building Biltmore Estate and Frederick Law Olmsted was going between Chicago designing the Columbian Exposition for the Worlds’ Fair and North Carolina designing the beautiful grounds at Biltmore Estate that you see today. You can read more about Frederick Law Olmsted and the Chicago Worlds’ Fair in the book “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larsen. Did you see how I pulled all of that together? I amaze myself sometimes!

Back to The Biltmore Estate -- In addition to the exhibition, the landscape and floral designers are incorporating Tiffany-inspired elements throughout the gardens and in The Biltmore House. Tiffany-inspired designs and events will spring up across the estate throughout the exhibition. Plans include special landscape touches with flower bed designs inspired by Tiffany’s use of botanicals in the Walled Garden and Antler Hill Village and floral displays throughout The Biltmore House. Two of the special features will be the transformation of the Winter Garden fountain into a “growing” Tiffany-style lamp and a specially produced wine by Biltmore Winery. The estate is also unveiling a unique 24-foot "Living Wall" of flowers, foliage, and vines that will mimic stained glass next to the Conservatory.

We hope we've given you yet another reason to visit the 1898 Waverly Inn in Hendersonville, NC very soon!

John, Diane, Darla & Debbie
1898 Waverly Inn
Bed and Breakfast Hendersonville NC

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