Friday May 4, 2018
Tags for: Cleveland Museum of Art Debuts Redesigned Tiffany and Fabergé Galleries
  • Press Release

Cleveland Museum of Art Debuts Redesigned Tiffany and Fabergé Galleries

exterior of the CMA building

Galleries showcase celebrated and rarely seen highlights from renowned collections of works by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Peter Carl Fabergé

Cleveland, OH (May 4, 2018) – The Cleveland Museum of Art announced today the opening of its redesigned Tiffany and Fabergé galleries. On display are the museum’s superb collections of works by American designer Louis Comfort Tiffany and his Russian counterpart, Peter Carl Fabergé. The galleries are named in honor of the Ruth and Charles Maurer Family and the Cara and Howard Stirn Family.

“The redesign of the Tiffany and Fabergé galleries constitutes one of the first gallery reinstallations undertaken as part of our new strategic plan, which calls for selected galleries to be reimagined in the coming years,” said William Griswold, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. “These renovated spaces offer our audiences a wonderful opportunity to view favorite objects from the collection, while discovering new and rarely seen masterworks.”

Open on both sides, new state-of-the-art glass and steel cases from Germany allow more natural light to brighten the spaces, creating an overall effect that invites the visitor to explore intriguing treasures within these collections, from the bejeweled works made for the Russian imperial family by Fabergé to the amazing stained glass lamps of Tiffany.

“This installation features a completely new arrangement of works—all the favorites together with some that have recently come to the Cleveland Museum of Art and some that haven’t been on display in years,” said Stephen Harrison, curator of decorative art and design. “And these beautiful new cases allow everything to ‘breathe’ visually so that it is easier to see these extraordinary works. One can now understand why these two master craftsmen and entrepreneurs were notorious rivals.”

In the Fabergé gallery, the finest of the firm’s delicate flowers, elegant jeweled accessories, and whimsical hardstone animals lead to the Imperial Red Cross Easter Egg made in 1915 during the First World War for Tsar Nicholas II to give to his wife, Tsarina Alexandra. This masterwork represents the finest craftsmanship in pre-revolutionary Russia and, when opened, contains a hidden surprise of an icon depicting the resurrection of Christ. Normally displayed closed to highlight its beautiful enameled surface and poignant miniatures of the Tsar’s daughters in their Red Cross uniforms, the egg is being shown open through the end of May 2018 to celebrate the reinstallation of the gallery. In the future, the egg will be shown open during the Easter season months of April and May and closed the rest of the year to protect its light-sensitive interior.

Just as with Fabergé, the Tiffany gallery features the hallmark of the artisan’s production—his work in glass. New research has revealed that one of the chief artisans working for Tiffany was Ohio native Clara Driscoll, many of whose designs for Tiffany can now be seen in this gallery. Bright colors and characteristic floral motifs are shown in abundance in this new design of the gallery, with magnificent peony and lily shades on display with a rare example of the iconic wisteria lamp.

Though contemporaries, Tiffany and Fabergé exhibited in the same world’s fair only once, in 1900 at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. In the newly redesigned galleries of the Cleveland Museum of Art, these masters of design once again share the stage for a new generation of visitors to discover.

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261