Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Light at the Lightner Museum, Part II

I am always amazed when you go looking for one thing and find another. I mentioned in Part I that Alex and I were simply looking for an afternoons entertainment and decided to go to the Lightner Museum to take pictures. We discovered one entire floor is dedicated to all types of glass and in particular the stain glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Born into the wealth of the Tiffany diamond family, he was an interior designer who wanted glass to transmit texture and rich color. When he could not get them he opened his own foundry to create them from 1848 to 1933. His inventiveness both as a designer of windows and as a producer of the material to create them caused him to develop a type of glass he called Favrile. The trade name Favrile was derived from the French word, fabrile, meaning handcrafted.

Favrile glass possesses a type of iridescence which causes the surface to shimmer as well as a degree of opacness. This iridescent effect was obtained by mixing different colors together while hot. The result would make him renound the world over for some of the most beautiful stain glass windows ever to be produced.

I call this piece "angel" because I forgot to take pictures of the actual names which allowed me to keep track of the titles. There was simply so much to see you almost become overwhelmed.

I like how it seems to float in the black background and the colors are both soothing and amazing.

Next is an Art Nouveau window that would have provided any parlor of the time a great deal of light and was what we would have considered very fashion forward.

For the music lovers of the time you could have Beethoven providing a bright shining light just above the piano for inspiration.

And the piece that everyone fell in love with when I used it on the other blog. The sight of it almost forces you to take a moment for restful contemplation.

A little side note to history. In researching Tiffany and of course the Tiffany Lamp I discovered Clara Driscoll who was the Director of the Tiffany Studio's Women's Glass Cutting Department. It has recently been discovered that "The Tiffany Girls", led by Clara Driscoll, chose the colors and types of glass used in the Studio's famous glass items which gave them more life and movement and ultimately more popularity.

Also as the creative force behind the Tiffany lamp, she was the designer and craftsman of more than thirty famous lamps. Sadly as a widow she worked for Tiffany for more than 20 years but once she remarried in 1909 her career ended because married women were not allowed to work at the foundry.

The following two stain glass windows are so beautiful they almost take your breath away. It is a feast for the eyes as you find yourself visually roaming each piece.

And finally the lovely Marie who works at the Museum and gave us tips on where to find some of the wonderful items you see here.

Despite the fact it was Sunday and late in the day, she was cheerful and full of information. And, she seemed to genuinely want to make sure you enjoyed your visit.

All in all this was one of the most difficult posts I have ever had to do. There was so much to see and most of it was so amazing that the hardest part was deciding what to include and I still did not come close to giving you a real feel for the place. If you are ever in Florida and near St Augustine it is truly a "must see."


  1. Oh, it's very beautiful ! Thanks so nice pictures with your detailed explanations this post.....It,s almost a nice Painting...Maidas hands only can make it possible guess....Great!

  2. Have not been on in awhile but glad I decided to stop by. The stain glass is excellent!

  3. Oh, such a wonderful stain glass!! I love them, thanks for share the with us, Cherrie, you are very kind. May I put away any in my pc?

  4. Ana,
    First, thank you for asking and yes you can save them for yourself. My photos don't begin to show the beauty of the pieces, but I am glad everyone enjoys them. The stain glass truly is amazing!

  5. Ok, here is the beauty of the glass. Most of the pictures are in focus and reflect all the details. Just click on my name here and follow the link :)