Tiffany’s Laurelton Hall: A Mystical Encounter
March 28, 2012
Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Laurelton Hall has been interpreted in many ways but one of the most significant elements is the way that he designed an environment that referenced different cultures and religions and also nature. From the grounds and gardens to the most intimate corners of the interior, Tiffany spread his net very wide. In Laurelton Hall Tiffany incorporated design elements that were both material and also spiritual. In his lecture, Dr. Wilson will examine some of Tiffany’s sources and what might have been his ultimate intentions in creating one of America’s most unique environments.
Richard Guy Wilson holds the Commonwealth Chair in Architectural History at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. Dr. Wilson, a frequent lecturer for universities, museums and professional groups, has served as an advisor and commentator for a number of television programs on PBS, the History Channel, and A&E, including America’s Castles and American Experience. A prize-winning writer, he has also published many articles and books including: The American Renaissance (1979); McKim, Mead & White Architects (1983); The Machine Age in America (1986); The Making of Virginia Architecture (1992); Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village (1993, 2008); The University of Virginia: Campus Guide (1999); Richmond’s Monument Avenue (2001); The Society of Architectural Historians Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont (2002), The Colonial Revival House (2004); “Mysticism, Alchemy, and Architecture: Designing Laurelton Hall,” Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall: An Artist’s Country Estate (2006); and Harbor Hill: Portrait of a House (2008).
Among his academic honors, Dr. Wilson was the Thomas Jefferson Fellow at Cambridge University, England, in 2007, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 1984–85. In 1986 he was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He received the outstanding professor award at the University of Virginia in 2001 and has directed the Victorian Society in America Summer School for 31 years.
Dr. Wilson has been the curator and/or contributor to major museum exhibitions and catalogues including The American Renaissance, 1876–1917 (Brooklyn Museum, New York, 1979); “The Art that is Life”: The Arts and Crafts Movement in America (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1987; The Machine Age in America, 1918–1941 (Brooklyn Museum, New York, 1986); and The Making of Virginia Architecture (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, 1992).