Travel: Taft Museum of Art intimate, friendly collection

March 7, 2018 - table lamp

CINCINNATI — Museums come in all shapes and sizes.

The Taft Museum of Art, in a historic, Federal-style palace in downtown Cincinnati, is comparatively tiny yet offers a ideal environment for an insinuate and friendly — one could contend “homey” — communication with pretentious works.

And by May 27, a museum is hosting “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from a Driehaus Collection,” an vaunt with eye-popping examples of work by a famed American craftsman and musical artist.

The Taft is a initial stop on a exhibit’s nine-city tour, and a initial time that a works have been shown outward a private Richard H. Driehaus Museum in Chicago.

Tiffany, a son of jeweler and Tiffany Co. owners Charles Lewis Tiffany, designed a engorgement of musical objects in a late 19th and early 20th centuries, including furniture, mosaics, valuables and whole building interiors.

He is best-known for his glass, though, and those works are a primary concentration of a exhibit.

Tiffany was during initial hindered by a singular colors of accessible glass, pronounced Lynne Ambrosini, arch curator during a Taft.

“The glassmakers of a day usually couldn’t compare his vision,” Ambrosini said.

So he founded his possess Tiffany Glass Co. to furnish a hues that would concede him to constraint that artistic vision.

Nearly all of a colors in his potion creations are partial of a potion itself, not embellished on a surface. He also layered potion to emanate pointed effects, a technique that is many in justification during a Taft exhibit.

“Some of my colleagues competence take emanate with me job him a painter instead of a decorative-arts creator,” Ambrosini said. “But formulating landscapes in potion was his loyal passion. And he embellished with light and glass.”

The vaunt includes 7 large, perplexing leaded-glass windows that could be deliberate a summary of Tiffany’s art. The windows’ shining yet pointed colors, depth-of-field effects and ethereal gradations in hardness make them seem many like landscape paintings rendered in glass.

Also during a vaunt are many other musical objects combined by Tiffany and a artists who worked in his studio, including 16 stained-glass lamps and 24 blown-glass vases.

The lamps, maybe Tiffany’s many widely dignified creations, underline healthy forms: Flowers and animals in clear colors and confidant designs. They also camber a technological course from kerosene to electric light, an allege that Tiffany embraced with designs such as his innovative and pleasing “Eighteen-Light Lily Table Lamp,” an electric flare that he exhibited to soap-box reviews during a 1902 International Exposition of Modern Decorative Arts in Turin, Italy.

Tiffany’s vases vaunt a some-more delicate, blown-glass technique. His “floriform” art vases, with slender, stalklike stems, resemble impressionistic flowers of glass. The vases are meant to mount alone as musical objects; stuffing a shimmering bowls with flowers would be, well, lily-ing a gilded.

The Tiffany vaunt is in a museum’s Fifth Third Gallery, a complicated expansion. The adjacent 1820 Baum-Longworth-Sinton-Taft House, now a National Historic Landmark, houses a permanent collection and offers a warmer, cozier environment than found in many incomparable museums.

The final private occupants of a house, Anna and Charles Taft, fabricated many of a permanent collection. (Charles was a half hermit of 27th President William Howard Taft, who supposed his 1908 Republican presidential assignment from a porch of a house.)

The collection is displayed via a mansion’s rooms, including pleasing parlors and song and dining bedrooms with period-appropriate grate mantels, chandeliers, carpeting and woodwork.

Like all a best secretly fabricated collections, a Taft’s is a bit quirky yet reveals a smashing eye and collecting instinct. Paintings embody critical works by Rembrandt, Thomas Gainsborough, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.

Other high points embody a collection of 49 musical slot watches from a 17th by 19th centuries and a few masterpieces of early 19th century American furniture.

My favorite mark in a museum is a Longworth Foyer, usually inside what was once a house’s categorical entrance. The pleasing entrance facilities 8 large-scale landscape murals depicting Ohio River Valley scenes.

The murals were embellished directly on a foyer’s smear walls about 1850 by Robert S. Duncanson, a initial African-American artist to grasp widespread acclaim. They are pronounced to be a best flourishing examples of pre-Civil War murals embellished for a private American home.

Ironically, a Tafts, who bequeathed their home and art collection to a city and destiny generations, substantially never saw a pretentious murals. A prior owners had lonesome them with wallpaper; they were rediscovered usually after a palace became a museum in 1932.

— Steve Stephens can be reached during or on Twitter @SteveStephens.

If You Go:
The museum, in a oldest remaining residence in downtown Cincinnati, preserves a tiny yet critical collection in a human-scale setting. The museum also will horde “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from a Driehaus Collection” by May 27.

The vaunt will transport to museums in 8 other cities by 2021: Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Huntsville, Alabama; Davenport, Iowa; Utica, New York; Jacksonville, Florida; Athens, Georgia; Sacramento; and Wilmington, Delaware.
For some-more information, call 513-241-0343 or revisit

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