The Charles Hosmer - Morse Museum of American Art



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Collection Highlights

Highlights / Architectural Ornament

Previous Next Daffodil Terrace

Daffodil Terrace, c. 1915
South façade, Laurelton Hall, Long Island, New York, 1902–57
Capitals: Cast and cut glass, concrete
Columns: Carrara marble
Ceiling: Painted cedar wood, composite material
Skylight: Iridized glass in a pear tree motif
Replicated box beams, frieze, rafter tails
Tiffany Studios, New York City, 1902–32
131 x 216 x 384 in.
(56-056: C,E, 57-023: M–T, 57-027, 57-028, 59-004, 59-005, 59-006, 59-007)

Added to Laurelton Hall in 1915 or 1916, the Daffodil Terrace was convenient to the dining room. Open to the surrounding gardens and grounds, it made a graceful transition from inside to outside, integrating the interior of the house with the outdoors and forming a splendid platform for observation and experience of the landscape.

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933) raised his new terrace on eight slender columns set on simple bases, all of Carrara marble, with concrete capitals encrusted with cast-glass daffodils. A pear tree in a central planter stretched skyward through an iridescent glass-lined square opening in the roof. The coffered ceiling in three bays around the skylight is composed of stenciled cedar, some of which Tiffany acquired in North Africa, and more than a hundred molded tiles in exotic geometric and floral motifs. These tiles, cast in a composite material of wood fibers and glue from Indian woodwork, are precise down to the wood-grain patterns of the originals. 

The design was quintessential Tiffany, embodying so many of his lifelong themes: the beauty of nature, his love of Eastern decorative ideas, his almost stubborn preference for humble materials, his taste for elegance, and above all, the combination of all this into a coherent whole of awesome aesthetic power.

Daffodil Terrace