About the program
Glass to Garden: Tiffany Inspired Floral Designs is an exhibition showcasing newly commissioned floral design installations from four local floral designers in dialogue with work by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios. The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Cronin, the founder and Creative Director of Chicago’s Asrai Garden—and widely known as one of the judges on HBO Max’s competition program, “Full Bloom”— who has selected and worked closely with each of the florists to create works inspired by the Tiffany pieces they in turn chose. Glass to Garden will run until January 7, 2024.
A seminal artist of the Gilded Age, Louis Comfort Tiffany is the best known and most widely collected figure in late nineteenth and early twentieth century American decorative arts. Tiffany relied on forms and colors inspired by nature to create a virtuosic array of windows, lamps, vases, and accessories. By bringing contemporary floral installations together with Tiffany objects, the exhibition will demonstrate a new way of seeing these works—taking them beyond their more traditional presentation and vividly connecting them with the natural forms that so inspired their creation. Glass to Garden will feature a total of eight Tiffany works, including vases and lamps drawn from the Driehaus Museum and the private collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
The floral designers participating in the exhibition are: Angelica Rivera Varela from Semillas Plant Studio; John Caleb Pendleton from Planks & Pistils; Taylor Amilas Bates from Dusk Lily Floral; and Serena Madrigal, from Espinas. This diverse group of emerging designers will also draw on their own backgrounds as further sources of inspiration for their designs.
“Nature was Tiffany’s muse,’ says Executive Director, Lisa M. Key. “And so we’re having a bit of fun with this idea in Glass to Garden. Now contemporary floral artists—who work directly with nature—are letting Tiffany be their muse. We’re particularly excited to partner with Elizabeth on this exhibition, given her own work as a floral designer and her array of experiences both collaborating with and guiding others in the field.”
According to curator Elizabeth Cronin, “The designers will be using preserved floral and plant material, which is a very new approach to floral design, and also helps to keep the Museum’s historic interiors critter-free. The juxtaposition of contemporary floral artists using a modern medium in a modern design style, inside a Gilded Age home and in conversation with Tiffany’s work from the same time period, is exciting for us as designers and we hope will be equally engaging for the Museum’s audiences.”
This is the first floral exhibition at the Museum and the timing—as fall recedes into winter—is intentional. It coincides with the Museum’s Gilded Gala on November 30 and the start of the festive holiday season. This year, in tandem with this exhibition, the Museum will be celebrating a season of light with a festive focus on Christmas, Hanukkah, St. Lucia Day, and Kwanzaa.