Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall—An Artist’s Country Estate
November 21, 2006 through May 20, 2007
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
This major New York exhibition of 250 outstanding works from Louis Comfort Tiffany’s extraordinary Long Island estate includes more than a hundred objects loaned by the Morse Museum. The Morse objects are being shown alongside works from a number of private and public collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition has been organized by the Metropolitan in collaboration with the Morse.
Built at the pinnacle of his career between 1902 and 1905, Laurelton Hall has often been cited as Tiffany’s most important work. Hugh F. and Jeannette G. McKean, who assembled the collections of the Morse Museum over a 50-year period, salvaged architectural elements, windows, and other objects from the estate after it was destroyed by fire in 1957. The Morse Museum’s loan to the exhibition includes 20 major windows, eight lighting fixtures, eight paintings or works on paper, and 20 glass, ceramic, and enamel works that were exhibited throughout the house.
Significant architectural elements in the loan include the Laurelton Hall Daffodil Terrace and the massive seven-by-eight-foot marble and glass-mosaic mantelpiece from the mansion’s dining room, both of which have been reassembled for the first time since the surviving elements were removed from the estate by the McKeans. Conservation of the Daffodil Terrace, an estimated 17-by-28-foot outdoor space, involved the complex reconstruction of eight 11-foot marble columns topped with glass daffodils, four large iridescent glass panels in a pear tree motif, and hundreds of stenciled wood elements and molded tiles from the coffered ceiling.