Installing Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics

As soon as the Fragile Legacy exhibition closed in January, the Museum’s exhibition and collections staff switched gears to prepare for our current exhibition, Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics. It took two weeks to remove, or de-install, the popular Blaschka exhibition. Then, over the next three months, staff began to prepare the Special Exhibitions Gallery for the much-anticipated Tiffany show. This work included creating all new walls and decks, core drilling the concrete floor to add power and data for digital interactives, and raising a section of ceiling to accommodate the large Tiffany column. Installation of objects, photographs, and labels for Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics took approximately four weeks, and more than 40 Museum staff — including collections management, curatorial, conservation, digital, graphics, and lighting departments — working alongside loan couriers and contractors. Here’s an inside peek at what went on behind-the-scenes.

Drywall is in, floors have been repaired and cleaned and the walls are ready for mud and paint.Drywall is in, floors have been repaired and cleaned and the walls are ready for mud and paint.

Colors and finishes were selected to make the Tiffany mosaics look their best.Colors and finishes were selected to make the Tiffany mosaics look their best.

The large workroom murals and large worktable surface will help immerse visitors into the Tiffany workspace.The large workroom murals and large worktable surface will help immerse visitors into the Tiffany workspace.

The conservation team assisted with condition reporting and cleaned the objects to make them look their best.After the gallery work was completed, the collections management team went into action coordinating object unpacking and installation, which included numerous loans to the exhibition. The conservation team assisted with condition reporting and cleaned the objects to make them look their best.

Even as it’s being uncrated, the St. Andrew panel looks stunning.Even as it’s being uncrated, the St. Andrew panel looks stunning.

While exhibition staff were busy in the gallery, staff at The Neustadt and CMoG’s Studio worked hard to make the pieces for the hands-on mosaic selection activity for visitors.While exhibition staff were busy in the gallery, staff at The Neustadt and CMoG’s Studio worked hard to make the pieces for the hands-on mosaic selection activity for visitors.

The large Tiffany mosaic column was uncrated and moved into its home at the entry of the exhibition. It took a team of Museum staff and a lift to get it into place and then secure it.  The gallery ceiling was even raised a few feet to accommodate it, which required moving HVAC, electrical and sprinkler lines!

Conservators do some final cleaning of the sample panels for the workroom wall.Conservators do some final cleaning of the sample panels for the workroom wall.

The workroom is coming together.The workroom is coming together.

A sample column on loan from the Chrysler Museum of Art is carefully installed in its display.A sample column on loan from the Chrysler Museum of Art is carefully installed in its display.

More than 1,000 pieces of surviving Tiffany glass were unpacked and laid out for installation on the workroom table.More than 1,000 pieces of surviving Tiffany glass were unpacked and laid out for installation on the workroom table.

The Showroom (left) and the Workroom (right) are finished and ready for visitors!

Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics is on view through January, 7, 2018. Discover and explore these breathtaking artworks through exquisite new photography, high-definition gallery projections, and interactive activities.

Special thanks to collections and exhibitions manager Warren Bunn for his help with this blog post.



Tiffany’s Glass Mosaics is on view at The Corning Museum of Glass May 20, 2017, through January 7, 2018. Learn more about the exhibition.

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