Tiffany touch shines through stained glass

It is always that little extra effort that makes all the difference. Just beyond the Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows at Navy Pier is another collection of 13 stained-glass windows by decorative glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany.The Tiffany windows are the focus of the Richard H.

Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass, an intimate environment where the well-lit stained-glass windows glitter like jewels in a boxlike space.

"The artwork is the most important part. But the way it is displayed is as important as the work itself," said Roland Lieber, partner in the Chicago-based architecture firm that designed the gallery.

Whereas the Smith Museum collection is displayed throughout an 800-foot expanse of Navy Pier, the Driehaus Tiffany windows are showcased in an enclosed black box.

"We really saw the space as an art object that shouldn't be separated from the works of art," Lieber said. "We wanted to create an environment that would celebrate this extraordinary glass work."

The 13 windows came from Louis Comfort Tiffany's studio in New York City, where he personally designed most of the pieces.

Tiffany began experimenting with glass art in 1873. Designing hundreds of beautiful church windows, public buildings and homes, Tiffany become one of America's most acclaimed glass designers. His reputation for experimentation in stained-glass techniques and originality in design remains unsurpassed.

600450 Tiffany touch shines through stained glass

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