Driehaus Gallery [Louis Comfort Tiffany – Expression of Beauty]

Posted by


Above Image:  Girl with Cherry Blossoms – by Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company

[Driehaus Gallery, Navy Pier, Chicago]

“Color is to the eye what music is to the ear.” [ – Louis Comfort Tiffany]

Louis Comfort Tiffany [1848-1933] helped revolutionize the technology of stained glass making.  Tiffany was not in favor of painting on glass.  He wanted glass itself to transmit rich colors and textures, as jewels like diamonds and rubies do. He started experimenting in his own studio, and soon developed techniques to use mineral impurities in glass, to produce a variety of  vibrant colors, hues and textures and thus created his own unique style of glass making.

” God has given us our talents, not to copy the talents of others, but rather to use out brains and imagination in order to obtain the revelation of true beauty”. [- Louis Comfort Tiffany]



One of the highlights of the Driehaus Gallery is the text attached to the stained glass windows, which details the type of glass used to produce the piece.. Like drapery glass, opalescent glass, ripple glass, confetti glass, motted glass and so on.. These techniques were used  at the Tiffany Studio, between 1878 to 1933, by Louis Comfort Tiffany and his team of workers.. Below are excerpts from gallery text..

American Artist, decorator and designer, Louis Comfort Tiffany [1848-1933] helped revolutionize the technology of stained glass making in the 1970s. he approached the making of these windows with his training as a painter, using glass as the medium . Since medieval times, the process of creating a stained glass window had remained essentially unchanged. However Tiffany’s innovation in texture, color and other effects allowed him to achieve pictorial details that had previously been painted onto glass.

In his New York glass factory, Tiffany developed new types of glass exhibiting a large palette of rich hues and textures. When strategically placed and layered, the new glass re-created rippling water, breathtaking garden and inspirational ecclesiastical windows.




Drapery Glass: An opalescent glass formed into ridges to suggest folds in clothing or drapery.

Opalescent Glass: Glass to which white glass is added to give it a milky look and increase opacity.

Ripple Glass: Texturizing effect achieved by operating top and bottom flattening rollers at different speeds.

Confetti Glass: Chips of multi-colored glass added during the blowing process and hand-rolled to create a distinctive speckled appearance.

Motted Glass: Colored glass which is opaque in some areas and translucent in others. One to three colors may be incorporated in a single sheet.

Not mentioned here is the Favrile Glass, which Tiffany patented in 1894 , and was first produced in 1896.

Favrile glass often has a distinctive characteristic that is common in some glass from Classical antiquity: it possesses a superficial iridescence.  This iridescence causes the surface to shimmer, but also causes a degree of opacity. This iridescent effect of the glass was obtained by mixing different colors of glass together while hot. According to Tiffany: “Favrile glass is distinguished by brilliant or deeply toned colors, usually iridescent like the wings of certain American butterflies, the necks of pigeons and peacocks, the wing covers of various beetles.”



Guiding Angel - by Tiffany Studio

Guiding Angel – by Tiffany Studio


Guiding Angel - by Tiffany Studio

Guiding Angel – by Tiffany Studio


“Guiding Angel” by Tiffany Studio, is one of my favorites  pieces at the  Driehaus Museum.  It is crafted using different types of glass. The plaque states the use of “Drapery, Enameled, Motted, Opalescent and Ripple Glass“,  to produce this brilliant piece.  Here are some images showing different types of glass used to produce this..




Girl with Cherry Blossoms – by Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company

Girl with Cherry Blossoms – by Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company


Wikipedia informs.. Tiffany Glass, click here..
Girl with Cherry Blossoms illustrates many types of glass employed by Tiffany including elaborate polychrome painting of the face, drapery glass for the dress, opalescent glass for the blossoms, streaky glass in the border, fracture-streamer glass in the background and what may be iridescent glass in the beads.

NOTE:  What seems to be named as “fracture-streamer”  glass in Wikipedia,  is named as “confetti” glass in Driehaus  gallery, Navy Pier, Chicago.




Details of some of the stained glass windows at the Driehaus Gallery, at Navy Pier Chicago..

For more on Driehaus Gallery, click here..





Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows [Navy Pier, Chicago] click here..
Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass Windows [Navy Pier Chicago].. click here..


Clarification on Driehaus Gallery, Driehaus Museum and Smith Museum..

NOTE: Driehaus Gallerys is a part of Richard H. Driehaus Museum, a non-profit museum dedicated to design and decorative art of America’s Gilded Age. Driehaus Gallery is located at Navy Pier, Chicago; whereas Driehaus Museum is located in the Samuel M. Nickerson Home, at 40 E. Erie Street, Chicago. Although Navy Pier also houses the beautiful Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows, with about 150 stained glass windows on permanent display. With that clarification, now back to Louis Comfort Tiffany and his expression of beauty through stained glass..



Written by

No Comments to “Driehaus Gallery [Louis Comfort Tiffany – Expression of Beauty]”

  1. […] RELATED LINKS: Richard H. Driehaus collection of Tiffany stained glass can also be seen at Navy Pier Driehaus Gallery.. click here.. Tiffany innovations .. click here.. […]

Leave a Reply