Maxfield Parish/Tiffany Glass Mosaic, Curtis Hall, Philadelphia, PA
Posted by: Squirreleen
N 39° 56.926 W 075° 09.063
18S E 487096 N 4422082
Quick Description: A mosaic replicating a Maxfield Parish painting using Tiffany glass pieces. This mosaic is generally missed by tourists, but it is a quick, free, and fabulous addition to a downtown tour!
Location: Pennsylvania, United States
Date Posted: 10/15/2008 6:43:02 PM
Waymark Code: WM4Z0K
From the descriptive plaque (a small amount of damage leaves this transcription incomplete):
The Dream Garden
This 15’ x 49’ glass mosaic, an inspiring example of creative collaboration and artistic innovation on a grand scale, is one of the only three such works of its kind ever undertaken by the famed Tiffany Studios, under the direction of Louis Comfort Tiffany. It was the last created and is generally considered to be the most beautiful.
Saturday Evening Post publisher Cyrus Curtis and Ladies Home Journal publisher Edward Bok believed that art belonged in public buildings where many people could enjoy it, and chose this sweeping wall space as the place for the crowning touch to the Curtis Publishing Company’s magnificent new headquarters.
“The Dream Garden” originated as an oil painting commissioned of famed Philadelphia-born artist Maxfield Parish, whose meticulous fantasies had long impressed Bok ____, Tiffany began the work of translating Parrish’s vision of a world without time, trouble, and tension, into the luminous beauty of this glass mosaic.
The mosaic’s images are rendered in “favrile” glass following a complex hand-firing process developed by Tiffany to produce over 100,000 pieces of glass in 260 color tones. Most of the glass was set in 24 panels in Tiffany’s New York studios. Installing the panels in this location took six months. The finished work was hailed by art critics as “a veritable wonderpiece at the official unveiling in 1916. The amazing variety of opaque, translucent, and transparent glass entirely lighted from the lobby, achieves perspective effects that have never been duplicated.
Protection of “The Dream Garden” during the extensive renovations of 1984-1986 that transformed the historic building into The Curtis Center involved close cooperation among the developer, contractor, craftsmen, and art conservators from Philadlphia and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. As a result, “The Dream Garden” continues to fulfill Tiffany’s wish that “it may stand in the years to come for a development in glass-making and its application to art”
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This mosaic is undoubtedly the most beautiful thing I saw in Philadelphia on my recent visit.
625 Sansome Street
Philadelphia, PA USA
Related web site: [Web Link]
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