Eyre Affairs

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Location: New York, United States

Saturday, March 31, 2007

"All this is visible to you by the light of an oil lamp hanging from the ceiling..." ~ Jane Eyre

I never take for granted the fact that I love so close to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That building is a shrine to me, and all of its contents are idols to be worsipped as if they were set on an alter.

This past weekend I stood delighted in the special exhibit "Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall—An Artist’s Country Estate." Not only did the collection highlight Tiffany's personal art collection, but so much of the estate was decorated by his own hand, so the weaving between the two throughout the exhibition rooms was beautiful.

Trying to figure out the etymology of his middle name proved difficult; I searched because his middle name is ironically so indicative of his artwork. I do not really connect the jewelry I wear from Tiffany's now with his art, as comforted as I am when I wear those pieces. It is the glass windows and stunning lamps and vibrant vases that give me comfort. As I stood infront of pieces in the collection, the beauty I absorbed through my eyes took me to a place of comfort.

Especially in the windows.

I wish I could step into those windows as Alice steps through the looking glass and just exist in the beauty of them for a while. The windows are textured in layers and jewels are prominant on many of the panels. I was struck the most by one he created of an autumn scene: pumpkins and eggplant. The color of the glass eggplant was as rich and deep as the purple on the skin of a real one.

During my very early years, my parents kept a Tiffany-style lamp above the dining room table. There are very few pieces I remember in terms of decor in the first house I lived in, but I do remember that lamp. Its as if you were always looking into a kaleidoscope when you stared towards the light of that chandelier. I associate that lamp, which they have in storage to this day, with my family.

Stained glass images have always been in my head during my life since Armenian churches are arrayed with stained glass windows all over. Religious figures aside, these glass panels tell stories of perseverance, strength, beauty, and love. What makes them so special, and Tiffany's windows so special, is that these insiprational feelings are illustrated both figuratively through the images and literally through the sunlight that enters each glass pane. The windows remind me that it is better to absorb and reflect than to just absorb, for as dark as the glass gets during the middle of the night, the sun will always be there to shine through in the morning.





Blogger foam said...

growing up in germany and travelling throughout france i took elaborate stained glass windows in churches for granted. however, no matter how much i expected to see them their beauty and their soaring heights always took my breath away. i would just sometimes stand there and bask in the dappled rays that would stream through these stained glass windows.
i have always enjoyed the stained glass of tiffany. as a matter of fact in my room in germany i proudly installed my own tiffany style ceiling lamp many many years ago. i wish i could have brought it here.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Clearlykels said...

I love that you don't take for granted things that you see regularly. I think that is a true sign of someone who enjoys life.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Bird said...

absorb and reflect.


this may be my mantra for the day.

it is somehow soothing.

so enjoyed this post - your writing is lovely.

12:09 PM  
Blogger PeeJ said...

Oh you are so lucky living so close to the Met. I would practically move in.

I love stained glass. Maybe Towers has two stained glass panels in the front door which are ace, particularly when the weather's really nice (like it has been)

Nice to see you back btw Thurs old gel :)


4:48 AM  
Blogger ThoughtsGalore said...

I'm sipping coffee thinking of you this chilly morning, as I read your blog. It's been a while. I hope you're well.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

This reminded me of something I saw in the May issue of House and Garden that I was looking through this afternoon.

They were talking to some designer that I have never heard of (Allegra Hicks) and she said that she loved these gorgeous glass bauble-like rings from a company called Legge & Braine. Sounds strange, I know, but they were beautiful pieces.


9:19 PM  
Blogger LADY LUXIE said...

I love stained glass windows...I must see what a Tiffany lamp is though...will search..

10:13 PM  

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