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Tiffany Exhibition Comes to Biltmore in Summer 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Biltmore will be the site of the July 1 opening of “Tiffany at Biltmore,” an exhibition of 45 stained glass lamps created by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) and The Tiffany Studios. The exhibition will fill The Biltmore Legacy exhibition hall in Antler Hill Village through Oct. 23.

One of the America’s most celebrated artists and designers, Louis Comfort Tiffany was an established tastemaker in the late 19th century. He catered to the wealthiest patrons, including both friends and family of George and Edith Vanderbilt. Though also noted for his skills in painting, decorative arts, and interior design, it was Tiffany’s experimentation with stained glass that brought him lasting fame.

The exhibition, known as “Tiffany Lamps: Articles of Utility, Objects of Art,” comes to Biltmore from The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in New York City. It is an in-depth look at Tiffany’s efforts to produce lamps that balance artistry with utility and profitability. It features 45 stunning lamps in an array of colors, sizes and decorative styles, and includes tools, materials and period photographs to demonstrate how the lamps were made.

“We are delighted to host such an inspiring collection of artistic glass created by America’s most admired stained glass artist,” said Ellen Rickman, director of Biltmore’s Museum and Guest Services. “These iconic lamps were the outcome of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s idea that art and usefulness could coexist.”

Tiffany and fellow artist John La Farge revolutionized the stained glass medium by incorporating three-dimensional design elements into their works. George Vanderbilt’s, father William H. Vanderbilt, commissioned LaFarge to create several stained-glass windows for his home on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 1879. Three of these extraordinary windows will be featured in the exhibition alongside Tiffany’s creations.

Tiffany-inspired designs and events will spring up across the estate during the exhibition. Plans include special landscape touches with flower bed designs inspired by Tiffany’s use of botanicals in the Walled Garden and Antler Hill Village; floral displays throughout Biltmore House, featuring the transformation of the Winter Garden fountain into a “growing” Tiffany-style lamp; and a specially produced wine by Biltmore Winery.

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