By WARREN RESEN
Member of Florida Outdoor Writers Assn.
WINTER PARK — The name is magical. Who wouldn’t be pleased to have a Tiffany lamp prominently displayed in one’s home? Or perhaps one of his magnificent leaded glass windows with the sun streaming through it during the day? Of course it would also have to be suitably lit at night for a passersby to appreciate.
While this is only a dream for most of us, the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany can be appreciated by all in nearby Winter Park, Florida, at The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. The museum houses the most comprehensive collection of Louis Comfort Tiffany in the world and it is less than a day’s drive for most Floridians.
The vast collection includes Tiffany jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass windows, lamps and the magnificent interior chapel he designed for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It’s worth the trip just to view this chapel which was eventually installed in his Long Island, NY, mansion before finding its way to Winter Park. The story of its tortuous journey to Florida is truly fascinating.
Public perception of Tiffany and his works is that he specialized in leaded glass windows and lamps. However his talents were far greater than that covering many different areas and techniques of design and fabrication all of which are on display.
The 30,000 square foot museum’s holdings also include a major collection of American art pottery and representative collections of late 19th and early 20th century American paintings, graphics and decorative arts. A 12,000 square foot annex is currently under construction.