Tiffany Lamp Collections – Best Tiffany Lamp Museum
I have researched the best Tiffany Lamp Museum in the USA to see the stunning works of Louis Comfort Tiffany. I have ordered them by region for ease of planning your future trip.
The Top 2 Tiffany Lamp Collections on permanent public display in my opinion are The Luce Center at The New York Historical Society Museum and the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum in Florida.
All of the other exhibitions contain authentic rare and beautiful examples of Tiffany Lamps and are worth a visit in their own right.
I have also uncovered some details of travelling collections and private collections that may be lesser known.
- 1 Tiffany Lamp Collections – Best Tiffany Lamp Museum
- 2 Tiffany Lamps New York City – Best Tiffany Lamp Museums NYC
- 3 Tiffany Lamps Chicago – Best Tiffany Lamp Museums Chicago
- 4 Tiffany Lamps Florida – Best Tiffany Lamp Museums Florida
- 5 Other Museums in USA – Smaller Tiffany Lamp collections
- 6 Traveling Exhibitions & Private Collections
- 7 Acknowledgements:
As I learn more about Tiffany Lamps collections I began to wander where I could visit to see them.
If you haven’t had your fill of antique roadshow Tiffany Lamps then I have researched for you the best museums to specifically see the stunning lights in all their glory.
Tiffany Lamps New York City – Best Tiffany Lamp Museums NYC
It is hardly surprising that Louis Comfort Tiffany’s heartland of New York is a mecca for Tiffany Lamps.
There are four Tiffany Lamp museum in New York that stand out for their collections of Tiffany lighting.
- The Luce Center at The New York Historical Society Museum
- New York Museum of Modern Art
- The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany glass, Queens Museum
- The MET Museum
The Luce Center, New York
The Luce Center presents the ultimate eye candy for lovers of Tiffany’s beautiful Lamps.The forth floor of the Henry Luce III Center was newly renovated as of April, 2017 and their stunning two-level Tiffany Lamp Gallery displays over illuminated 100 Tiffany Lamps in dramatic jewel like feature lighting.
Tiffany Lamp Gallery at the Luce Center
The lamps belong to the collection of The New-York Historical Society. The collection was formed in 1984 as a single gift from the prolific collector Dr. Egon Neustad. This collection is considered one of the most comprehensive and encyclopedic collections in existence. Dr Neustad stated that he aimed to buy every type of Tiffany Lamp made, even those that he did not relish. His purpose was to develop a definitive collection.
Dr Neustad loaned the collection to The New-York Historical Society in 1983. A year later he made the loan a permanent gift. The collection was valued at $7million at the time. This was a truly remarkable gift to the public. Perhaps the lamps would have been lost to public view if it wasn’t for Dr Neustads impeccable timing. He died the same year.
You can view a number of examples of the famous Tiffany Dragonfly Lamp, as well as rarer pieces such as the unique Tiffany Dogwood Floor Lamp, Wisteria Table Lamp and a rare intricate Cobweb Tiffany shade on a mosaic base. These delightful items date back to around 1900.
Amongst my favorite lamps are the Clematis chandelier a cone shaped Tiffany shade featuring striking blue clematis flowers in full bloom, a Laburnum table lamp which features an irregular lower border with cascading flower clusters in glorious shades of yellow and the impressive domed shade of the Tiffany Dogwood table lamp.
Alongside the collection of lamps the story of lamp making is told, and is right on message focusing on the achievements made by head designer Clara Driscoll as well as the “forgotten Tiffany Girls” that worked the Tiffany Studio. This creates a nice fit with the new Center for Women’s History at the Luce Center.
There are interactive features in the Gallery, including a design-a-lamp experience and story of electrification. Individual kiosks tell the stories of the “Tiffany Girls”.
New York Museum of Modern Art
The MOMA houses lists around 38 works by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Three of these are lamps – The Hanging Lotus Lamp, a floor lamp and a table lamp are listed in their collection. If you have an interest in Tiffany’s wider work or you are interested in one of these items specifically it may well be worth a visit. If however your time is limited in New York, you would be better served by visiting The Luce Center or The Neustadt Collection. It would be worth checking in advance of your visit if the lamps are on display.
The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany glass, New York
The Neustadt Collection, founded in 1969 by Egon and Hildegard Neustadt, comprises excellent examples of Tiffany Lamps, windows, metalwork. Works have been on display in a dedicated gallery at the Queens Museum since 1995. This is extremely apt as Tiffany’s workshop, studios and workshops were located only two miles away, in the Corona section of Queens. Not all items in the collection are on display at any one time.
The lamp collection is diverse and both includes rare works and multiple examples of the same designs. This affords some of the best opportunities for comparative study
The diversity of the lamp collection, which includes both rare examples and multiple interpretations of the same lamp design, affords unique opportunities for study, comparison and enthusiasts. The Neustadt Collection further has a comprehensive study of fakes and forgeries as well as period lamps produced by competing firms. All in all, the Neustadt collection is truly a world authority in the provenance of Tiffany Lamps.
Currently an exhibition “Tiffany’s Iridescence: Glass in Rainbow Hues” is running at The Queens until October 6, 2019. The revolutionary art and science Louis Comfort Tiffany in his sheet and blown glass is highlighted. Tiffany’s journey with glass is inspired by his passion for color and light in nature.
The Tiffany Glass Archive
Additionally The Tiffany Glass Archive contains including over a quarter of a million pieces of original Tiffany glass & jewels
Driven by his burgeoning success Tiffany needed greater control, variety and quantities of glass. This led to him establishing his own glass works. He even trademarked his glass calling it “Favrile”.
After Tiffany Studios ceased trading in 1937 all remaining stock was liquidated.
Dr. Egon Neustadt acquired the glass collection for its historical value in 1967.
In December 2018 a unique bi-monthly tour of the Tiffany Glass Archive was introduced. These run at 3pm every other Friday.
At just over $100 these curator led tours allow you to experience the beauty of 250,000 pieces of original Tiffany glass in every color, type and texture that you can imagine.
You will learn about Tiffany’s innovations in glassmaking and his significant contribution to the history of mosaics and stained glass.
Experience the interactive ‘touch table’ delight in exhilarating lighting demonstrations that show the glass at its magnificent best.
You can book tickets through the following link:
The Tiffany Glass Archive is located:
The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass
5-26 46th Avenue
Queens, NY 11101
The MET Museum, New York
In October 2002 The MET Museum opened a gallery dedicated to Tiffany on the first floor of the American Wing. 70 majestic works of Louis Comfort Tiffany are featured including windows, lamps, furniture, mosaics, blown Favrile glass vases, pottery, enamelwork, and jewelry.
The addition pf the Tiffany gallery complements the adjoining Deedee Wigmore Gallery which is devoted to works from the Arts and Crafts movements.
I count 12 Tiffany Lamp and shades currently in the collection, with the addition of some supporting pieces.
Tiffany Lamps Chicago – Best Tiffany Lamp Museums Chicago
Driehaus Museum, Chicago
While most of the Tiffany lamps of the Driehaus collection are currently featuring in the travelling exhibition “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection” (see below) the museums website highlights the presence of a Tiffany Eighteen-Light Lily Table Lamp and Gothic Style Memorial Chandelier.
I would recommend before visiting checking with the museum that these items are on display.
Tiffany Lamps Florida – Best Tiffany Lamp Museums Florida
The Morse Museum, Orlando, Florida
The Morse Museum, or Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, is a fantastic treasure trove of Tiffany works, constructed at a cost of $5 million in 2010 in Winter Park, Orlando, Florida.
The Morse Museum has a unique link to Laurelton Hall was the home of Louis Comfort Tiffany. With grounds of 600 acres, many of Tiffany’s works were inspired from the nature he studied in his gardens.
From 1918 Laurelton Hall served as a home for Tiffany’s Foundation acting as a school for artists. At some point buildings were added which in part housed the famous Tiffany Chapel created for the Tiffany & Co. Pavilion at the Columbian Exposition of 1893.
After Tiffany’s death the buildings fell into disrepair and the foundations sold up in 1949. Laurelton Hall burned in 1957. It was at this point that Hugh McKean and Jeannette Genius McKean of the Morse Museum stepped in to save majority of historical windows and other surviving architectural pieces
Jeanette McKean was in fact a former student of Tiffany. She had been contacted by one of Tiffany’s daughters to inform them that some of the glass windows in Laurelton Hall remained intact. Her interest in Tiffany led her to create in 1955, one of the first dedicated exhibitions of Tiffany work.
The Morse Museum today features an impressive 6000 square foot of gallery space to display the Tiffany works salvaged from Laurelton Hall.
Even more dramatically is a faithful reconstruction of the Tiffany Chapel that bought him international acclaim. The chapel lay in packing crates for many decades while the McKean’s painstakingly researched the locations of the remaining elements dispersed after 1949. These items were acquired to ensure they were kept as a single collection.
It wasn’t until 1996, that the Board of Trustees, agreed an expansion project that would allow the Tiffany Chapel to be re installed. It took a dedicated team of craftsmen and conservation experts two years to realise that dream.
From a lighting perspective the highlight of the chapel is a jaw dropping
1,000-pound, 10-by-8-foot electrified chandelier.
The Tiffany Collection itself, the centrepiece of the Morse Museum is one of the most comprehensive in the World. It covers works from all periods in depth and has many unique pieces. Some people such as Vivienne Couldrey have describe the Morse Tiffany Collection as “the most important collection of Tiffany material in the world today.”
Among the highlights of the collection The Morse Museum list 27 Tiffany Lamps.
An ongoing exhibition “Lamps and Lighting—Tiffany and His Contemporaries” is featured amongst several other Tiffany exhibitions. This maps Tiffany’s interest in lighting through the early days of electricity and how he utilised technology and design to popularise his lamp works for a wide consumer audience.
I think it is fair to say that today the Morse Museum and Tiffany Chapel is the most inspiring and relevant setting to view Tiffany’s works according to his unique vision.
Fantastic Tiffany Glass at the Morse Museum
Other Museums in USA – Smaller Tiffany Lamp collections
The MFA in Boston has at least one work:
Corning Museum of Glass:
Traveling Exhibitions & Private Collections
A private collection “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection” is currently touring.
The Richard H. Driehaus Collection is one of the leading private collections of Tiffany Studios Art.
Billed as a celebration of beauty by the organisers the exhibition contains 60 works of Tiffany throughout his career. Sixteen exquisite lamps represent some of the most important and sought after of his illuminated works.
Organised by the Richard H. Driehaus Museum in conjunction with International Arts and Artists upcoming tour dates are:
February 16, 2019 – May 19, 2019
June 15, 2019 – September 8, 2019
October 16, 2019 – January 5, 2020
February 1, 2020 – May 10, 2020
June 7, 2020 – September 20, 2020
October 17, 2020 – January 10, 2021