Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion, an exhibit currently on view at the Museum of Biblical Art (MOBIA), in New York City, showcases the array of church decorations and memorials that Louis C. Tiffany (1848-1933) produced beginning in the early 1880s. On view through January 20, 2013, the exhibit shows the breadth and depth of the firm’s oeuvre, and the place Tiffany Studios created for itself in American religious art.
The centerpiece of the exhibition is a Corning Museum artwork, The Righteous Shall Receive a Crown of Glory (96.4.230). The window, which measures 12’ 10” x W. 8’1, was created for the United Methodist Church of Waterville, New York, around 1901.
When the window was removed from the church, it went into the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Randall. The couple offered it to the Corning Museum in 1996. At that time, it was too large for the Museum to display in any of its gallery areas and needed restoration work. However, since one of the most important roles of a Museum is to collect and preserve important objects for the future, the donation was accepted and the window stabilized for storage.
When MOBIA began planning its Tiffany exhibition, it approached the Corning Museum about this window. Several institutions then came together to complete conservation work on this beautiful object. CMoG offered its existing conservation report to facilitate work on the window. The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass offered conservation studio space where the treatment could take place. MOBIA incorporated the cost of the restoration into its exhibition budget.
The window was secured in 12 custom-built crates at CMOG and taken to the Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in July 2012. Over the summer, it was restored by Drew Anderson, a conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art who specializes in stained glass.
When the exhibit at MOBIA ends, the window will come back to Corning, and the curatorial staff are working on trying to find a space to display it. We’ll keep you posted.