Farewell…

January 16, 2009

Well, the time has come to bid you each a fond farewell. Artistic Luxury will close its doors in Cleveland on January 18. The clock is ticking for those of you who have yet to see this exhibition. The show travels to San Francisco and then these amazing treasures will disperse back to their owners.

This exhibition has been a labor of love for me many years in the making. I am simply amazed on how this has all come together. I wanted to make an opportunity not only to highlight these three great designers, but to speak upon their rivalry, their influence, society at the turn of the 20th century and the lessons we can still learn today. I cannot believe how quickly the weeks have gone by.

There are so many to thank for this exhibition. Countless staff and volunteers at CMA, friends and colleagues around the globe, the generosity of the lenders and sponsors…the list can go on and on. But I am very grateful to all of you who have shown personal interest in Artistic Luxury. Thank you for visiting the exhibition, reading my blog and sharing your experience with others. I am honored and humbled by the many of you who thoroughly enjoyed this experience and journey.

Until next time…

Stephen

 NOTE:

Please join CMA as we transition from the Artistic Luxury blog to CMA’s Curator of African Art, Costa Petridis’ blog, Art and Power in the Cental African Savanna.  A  special CMA blog with insight to all of the great programming taking place is also in the works and the link will be posted to the Art & Power blog when up and running.

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At the turn of the 20th century, Louis Comfort Tiffany was at his peak of inspiration. By the 1900’s World’s Fair, Tiffay and his team of designers (an array of whom were women at a time when the common belief was that designing was a “male profession”) set the world on fire with their galss creations of avante-garde shapes and colors.

With Artistic Luxury, the Cleveland Museum of Art has brought together three of Tiffany’s most acclaimed winows in one city. Artistic Luxury represents the American debut of one of Tiffany’s most highly-regarded works in stained glass, the Magnolia Window.

Magnolia Window, c. 1900, Tiffany Studios, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Magnolia Window, c. 1900, Tiffany Studios, The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

This remarkable window was taken to the 1900’s World Fair in Paris by Tiffany and later sold in 1901 to the Stieglitz Academy of Art and Design in St. Petersburg. During the Russian Revolution, the Stieglitz collections went to the State Hermitage Museum for safe keeping. There the Magnolia Window sat all throughout the Soviet era. It was only recently that it was put on display. I stumbled across it while looking for Fabergé works for Artistic Luxury.

Adding to the Magnolia Window debut is two of Cleveland’s own Tiffany treasures. On display in Artistic Luxury is a window originally created for the now demolished Howell Hinds house (located at the present site of the First Church of Christ Scientist). About a mile or so down the road, can be found Tiffany’s Flight of Souls Window, located in Lakeview Cemetery’s Wade Chapel, which Tiffany also included among his offerings at the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris.

When life closes a door, it opens a window or in this case three. And if that isn’t a once in a lifetime opportunity, I don’t know what is.

Stephen

FYI:

  • Check out my vlogs on WKYC.com.
  • Get tickets to CMA’s Cabaret Artistique on January 16, featuring Daniel Isengart and Baby Dee, price includes ticket to Artistic Luxury.

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