CORNING, N.Y. — The Corning Museum of Glass, which holds one of the most comprehensive collections of Tiffany glass and related materials in the nation, is placing on display in its permanent galleries two remarkable examples of the decorative work of Tiffany Studios. One of the objects is a recently acquired, rare example of a Dragonfly reading lamp by Tiffany Studios designer Clara Driscoll. Also on view is a recently conserved, ecclesiastical stained glass memorial window commissioned for the United Methodist Church in Waterville, N.Y., around 1901. The two pieces join a wealth of Tiffany materials at the museum and expand its unique narrative of Tiffany production.
Made in 1899, the reading lamp with dragonflies and water flowers is an early example of a lamp by Driscoll and is one of the first four lamps that she made with dragonfly decoration. The museum’s lamp is notable for its intricate leaded glass shade, which is ornamented with six large dragonflies with iridescent wings, as well as numerous water flowers. The shade sits on a blown and acid-etched, spherical, green glass base and cast bronze foot, which take the form of water lily leaves.
The lamp is a significant example of an original shade and base remaining together with little restoration — often, over the years, bases and shades from Tiffany lamps become separated and may be rejoined with parts from different lamps. The Corning Museum owns three other examples of Tiffany lamps made between 1895 and 1905. Together, this collection of lamps demonstrates the ingenuity, evolution and varied creations of Tiffany Studios.
Also recently installed is an example of a stained glass window by Tiffany Studios ecclesiastical designer Frederick Wilson. Commissioned in 1901 by the Brainard family in memory of Waterville banker and hops merchant Charles Green, The Righteous Shall Receive a Crown of Glory is remarkable for its large scale and integration of different types of glass and glass jewels, which the Tiffany Studios pioneered. The image portrayed on the window — of two angels escorting the soul of the deceased up marble stairs toward a large cross supported by three angels and into the light of heaven — is inspired by the New Testament passage Peter 5:4, “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
The Corning Museum of Glass is at 1 Museum Way. For information, www.cmog.org, 800-732-6845 or 607-937-5371.