Kalamazoo Institute of Arts exhibits Louis Comfort Tiffany jewelry, glass, mosaics and more!

Posted: May 26, 2014

For Immediate Release -

Louis Comfort Tiffany

On May 31, the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts will open an exhibition of iconic artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. In the exhibition, visitors will delight in seeing the range of Tiffany's design work: his sumptuous Art Nouveau jewelry, his spectacular leaded-glass lamps and windows and his exquisite work in blown glass, metals and mosaics. Tiffany's work, featured on both gallery levels of the KIA, will be the summer's not-to-be-missed experience in Kalamazoo.

The KIA is the exclusive venue for the exhibition of Louis Comfort Tiffany's jewels created during his time as lead jewelry designer at Tiffany and Co., which was founded by his father. Tiffany designed jewelry influenced by his passion for nature and Middle Eastern culture. His work at Tiffany and Co. illustrates an intersection of the decorative form with the natural aesthetics of the Art Nouveau movement. The Tiffany glass in the Painting with Color and Light portion of the exhibition will feature three windows, sixteen lamps, and seventy-five pieces of his signature opalescent flat glass. Tiffany's innovative glasswork is the result of his fascination with light and color. Unsatisfied with traditional methods of stained glass that avoided impurities, Tiffany used colored, textured, opalescent glass to create his "paintings." His experimentation with such flawed glass led to the lampshades and leaded-glass windows shown in the exhibition that have immortalized his place in art. The Tiffany exhibition will showcase pieces that often received international acclaim at such historic events like the World's Fair, all within the locally renowned KIA. Other works collected by the KIA in the exhibition are glass vases, a glass and bronze lamp, a painting, a drawing, two jeweled brooches, a large enameled vase, and several of Tiffany's mosaics and ceramics.

Louis Comfort Tiffany
May 31 - August 24

Extended exhibition hours:
Tuesday-Friday 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Special admission fee:
Adults: $10, KIA Members/Students/Active Military: $5

About Louis Comfort Tiffany
At an early age, Louis Comfort Tiffany was exposed to the world of design through Tiffany & Co., the fine jewelry and silver company founded by his father, Charles Lewis Tiffany, in 1837. Rather than join the family business, however, the young Tiffany pursued his love for painting, studying in New York and Paris, and traveling throughout the Middle East and North Africa. By the late 1870s, he began to focus his artistic energies on decorative arts. Inspired by the iridescent qualities he found in ancient Roman glass, his experimentation led to the development of his famed Favrile glass. In addition to his sinuous, organic forms of blown glass, Tiffany utilized the properties of color and light in opalescent glass to "paint" vibrant pictures in his leaded-glass windows and lamp shades. Following his father's death in 1902, Louis Comfort Tiffany was named the first design director of Tiffany & Co. Building upon his success in glass and other decorative arts, he became a leading jewelry designer, working closely with other talented Tiffany & Co. designers like Julia Munson and Meta Overbeck. He continued to garner international acclaim and win awards at world's fairs and expositions.