The Charles Hosmer - Morse Museum of American Art

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Collection Highlights

Highlights / Lamps and Lighting

Previous Next Library lamp

Library lamp, c. 1900–1905
Shade No. 1524, Lotus, Pagoda design
Standard No. 373, Mushroom design
Leaded glass, bronze
Tiffany Studios, New York City, 1902–32
Marks on base: [conjoined TGDco] / TIFFANY STUDIOS / NEW YORK / D795
24 1/2 x 25 in.

Upon mention of a lotus, one thinks first of the brilliant blossoms which adorn ponds around the world. This lamp shade from Tiffany Studios, however, takes design inspiration from the plant’s large, umbrella-like leaves, which create a lush green background for these colorful flowers. Structural veining within the leaf provides a strong support system allowing for its broader span. The lamp shade here translates that veining with lead lines and emulates the coloring in geometric glass sections. The gradated color is the same as the plant, darker toward the center gradually lightening toward the edge. Though it may not be radiating with the vivid colors of the blossom, the Lotus design shade confirms what Louis C. Tiffany (1848–1933) surmised. Even in the elemental simplicity of the lotus leaf, “nature is always beautiful.”

Library lamp