Louis C. Tiffany at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2010)

Tiffany glass: A passion for colour

Rediscovery of an outstanding piece of Montreal’s heritage
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
12 February - 2 May 2010

Press release text by Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, Canada

After Paris, where it garnered both public and critical acclaim, the exhibition Tiffany Glass: A Passion for Colour will be shown in Montreal from February 12 to May 2, 2010. It is the first exhibition of this magnitude on one of the most famous American designers, Louis C. Tiffany (1848 - 1933), to be presented in Canada. Developed and produced by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, it will highlight Tiffany’s remarkable contribution to the design and technology of glass, which earned him an international reputation. In an exhibition space twice as large as the one in Paris, some 180 works have been brought together, including a series of magnificent large-scale ecclesiastical stained glass windows and secular stained glass, magnificent blown-glass vases and lamps with shapes and decoration inspired by nature, some examples of paintings and mosaics, as well as original designs from the Tiffany Studios and period photographs. The many prestigious institutions that have lent important works include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the State Hermitage Museum, the Musée des arts décoratifs de Paris and the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

One of the highlights of the exhibition is a set of 17 imposing stained glass windows that are now part of the collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "As the windows had to be taken down [from the Erskine and American Church] for construction work on the expansion project, I saw a unique opportunity to mount an exhibition," explained Nathalie Bondil, Director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "After half a century of neglect, this part of our Montreal— and Canadian— heritage, the largest commission of works from the Tiffany Studios in Canada, has finally been rediscovered. It is the biggest restoration project undertaken by the Museum during its history." These windows date from Tiffany Studios’ finest period, between 1897 and 1902. They have been taken down and restored and are now presented at eye-level for the very first time. The designs for these windows are held in the archives of the Metropolitan Museum of New York. Visitors will also be able to enjoy an audioguide and musical stroll, with a selection of pieces by Pierre Bourgie, director of the Arte Musica Foundation.

The exhibition tour was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in collaboration with sVo - Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond.