While the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum is awe inspiring, the history of Louis Comfort Tiffany and the founding of the museum are equally impressive. Most famous for the Tiffany lamps designed by his students and himself, there is so much more to see. A small sample of the most comprehensive collection of Tiffany’s work and a hint of the history behind it can be seen in this video:
Like a rock hound, I seek out Florida’s hidden gems. This rare gem is tucked away behind the curtains of Spanish moss that drape a live oak shaded cobbled avenue in Winter Park. The museum and its impressive art nouveau collection is the crown jewel of the Winter Park shopping and historic district near Orlando.
If you are ever in the Orlando area the museum is simply a “must see”. Its focal point, a chapel rescued from the fire that destroyed the Tiffany Estate, Laurelton Hall, in 1957, was designed and constructed exclusively for display in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition (also known as The World’s Fair) in Chicago. The chapel is made of mosaic glass tiles that reflect patterns of colored light from every angle. The cross shaped “electrolier”, as Tiffany called it, is suspended above.
Another Tiffany masterpiece, The Daffodil Terrace, restored at the museum, is temporarily installed at the Metropolitan Museum and is larger than many Manhattan apartments. Its tall marble columns are topped with clusters of yellow flowers — daffodils — made of blown glass, the material in which Tiffany achieved his greatest eloquence.
The Daffodil Terrace once connected the dining room and the gardens at Laurelton Hall, the grand estate that Tiffany built for himself from 1902 to 1905 on 580 extensively landscaped acres overlooking Long Island Sound. Can you imagine the grandeur of such a place?
You can read more about the chapel and the museum founders here: http://orlando.about.com/od/museumarticles/a/tiffany.htm