“Art history is littered with work that involves light.” ~ James Turrell
Step inside this historic building and you will see a wonderful example of a favrile glass mural.
So what makes favrile glass different than other glass? It’s iridescent qualities is ingrained in the glass itself not just from the refraction of light. Favrile was developed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The term favrile glass may be less known unless you are antiques dealer or appraiser or a stained glass enthusiast.
One of the most beautiful examples of favrile glass is a 1916 installation of a glass-mosaic mural by Maxfield Parrish and Louis Comfort Tiffany called ‘”Dream Garden.” Cyrus Curtis of Curtis Publishing hired Mr. Parrish, a prominent magazine illustrator of the era and Louis Comfort Tiffany to design and make the mural which is 16 ft high and 50 feet wide. It has an astonishing number of hues – 260 to be exact which makes the scene “breathtaking.” It is the only known collaboration between Tiffany and Parrish.
In the year 2001, the mural was at risk for being removed from the lobby of the Curtis Publishing Company. To make a long story short, Pew Charitable Trust stepped in and the art will remain because of it’s historical importance to the building. Want to know more about the controversial reasons for why it was almost removed? Here is a good article from the Association of Public Art.
Looking for an art journey? Head to Philadelphia! The mural is in the Curtis Building at 6th and Walnut Streets and can be viewed by the public. A photograph certainly can’t do glass work justice in fully capturing it’s reflective qualities. It would be worth seeing up up close.