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New Louis Comfort Tiffany Permanent Collection Display at University of Kentucky Art Museum


The University of Kentucky Art Museum is proud to announce the new permanent collection display of 27 pieces of art glass, lamps, and metalwork by Louis Comfort Tiffany beginning November 8, 2003.

Louis Comfort Tiffany is considered to be one of the most important American decorative artists of the late nineteenth-early twentieth centuries. The son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co., L.C. Tiffany was trained as a painter and inducted into the National Academy of Design, though today he is best known for his stained glass windows, lamps, and art glass. As a major protagonist of the arts and crafts aesthetic, he established and operated Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, Tiffany Studios, and Tiffany Furnaces, firms that employed skilled artisans who created a wide selection of decorative arts for wealthy collectors throughout the world. (right: Pond Lily Table Lamp, glass and bronze, 18 15/16 x 13 9/16 inches, University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, Kentucky, Bequest of George and Susan Proskauer 92.17.130)

Among the works on display are two flower form vases, which are signature pieces of Tiffany's art glass. Derived from nature, they are pure art nouveau glass sculpture depicting flowers at different stages of development. The vase with the elongated cup resembles a budding flower that is just about ready to open while the other vase is a blossom in full bloom. Examples of metalwork are also on view in the UK Art Museum's display. In addition to lamp bases, candlesticks, and other items, the collection includes a gilded bronze desk set comprised of over a dozen pieces from the Zodiac pattern, Tiffany Studio's most popular design. (right: Floraform Vase, glass, 14 1/8 x 4 9/16 inches, University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, Kentucky, Bequest of George and Susan Proskauer 92.17.137; Floraform Vase, glass, 12 3/16 x 5 1/8 inches, University of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington, Kentucky, Bequest of George and Susan Proskauer 92.17.140)

The UK Art Museum's collection of Tiffany art glass and metalwork, in addition to over 40 pieces of art glass made by other American glass artists, was acquired through the bequest of George and Susan Proskauer. Due to a shortage of display cases, only a few pieces of the museum's Tiffany collection have been on view in the past.  Thanks to a generous gift from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, however, the museum is now able to display a broader selection of our decorative arts collection. 

"We are excited about being able to display more of our Tiffany collection which is so beloved," said Kathy Walsh-Piper, museum director. "We want to make sure that our donors special gifts to the museum are shown and appreciated."

Also, on November 8, 2003, the museum will hold a Breakfast with Tiffany's benefit to celebrate the installation of the museum's Tiffany collection. This benefit event will feature a mimosa breakfast; lecture on Tiffany glass by Arlie Sulka, Tiffany expert from the Lillian Nassau Gallery, NYC; and a silent auction. Sulka has studied the museum's Tiffany pieces and will also evaluate other American glass in the collections. The UK Art Museum has a collection of over 300 perfume bottles, as well as other glassware.

The Breakfast with Tiffany's benefit will be from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with the lecture at 11:00 a.m. in the UK Art Museum galleries.

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