A 30-piece collection of Tiffany lamps, glassware, candlesticks, and desk sets go on display at the Boca Museum (501 Plaza Real, Boca Raton) today. Admittedly, Tiffany Studios: The Holtzmann Collection sounds boring, but the history behind this collection excites. The Tiffany lamp is the centerpiece of the exhibit; its also the emblem of Art Nouveau. As a sort of Rousseauist aesthetic, Art Nouveau swept the upper classes of Europe, starting around 1880 (before the time of Home & Garden). In 1895, Louis Comfort Tiffany designed a lamp with a bronze trunk and floral, stained-glass shades. Splendid as a Bonsai tree, the lamp fit nicely with the naturalism of Art Nouveau. At a recent auction, one of the handcrafted lighting appliances sold for $8 million. Mysteriously, Art Nouveau fell off in 1914, the first year of World War I, and was followed loosely by Art Deco.
Louis Tiffany, as his name indicates, was an heir to Tiffany & Co., the stationery and fancy goods emporium that blinged-up the families of the Gilded Age, inadvertently designed the New York Yankees insignia, and now holds a trademark on a color, its famous regal turquoise. Dont be surprised if Audrey Hepburn arrives at the museum and swoons in front of a glass display-case. Admission costs $20 or less. Call 561-392-2500, or visit www.bocamuseum.org.
Jan. 25-April 27, 2008