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Tiffany Dream Garden Mosaic: a Philadelphia Treasure

Awhile ago, I was called to report for Federal Jury Duty in Philadelphia, and I was anxious, but it did give me the opportunity to walk over to the Curtis building during the lunch break and see the Dream Garden Mosaic, by Louis Comfort Tiffany, based on a Maxfield Parrish painting. The lobby of the Curtis building is sometimes closed on Saturdays, as I’d discovered the first time I tried to see it, so it was a delight on this weekday to sit on a bench placed directly across from the mural and absorb the grand scale, and intense colors. Composed of thousands of handcut pieces of Tiffany’s own glass, it is 12×49 feet, and took 30 artisans a year to install it. I am sobered by the attempt in the late 90’s, after heirs sold the mosaic to a casino owner. After complicated legal battles, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts has guardianship of The Dream Garden, in trust for the people of Philadelphia. I can’t even imagine dismantling such a work, unmooring its very substrate, and home. This photo is but one section of the mosaic, and yet wonderfully detailed, and glowing in iridescence.  If you are visiting Philadelphia, be sure to make a trip to The Dream Garden.
Tiffany Dream Garden Mosaic at the Curtis Building in Philadelphia. Photo by Wayne Stratz.
Tiffany Dream Garden Mosaic at the Curtis Building in Philadelphia. Photo by Wayne Stratz.This photo shows the entire mosaic to give you a sense of the scale.  But to truly experience the play of light and color, come see it in person!

Related Posts:

Wordless Wednesday:  Dream Garden by Tiffany

Flickr Set of Dream Garden Photos by Stratoz

Phillies in Mosaic:  Jonathan Mandell

The Magic Garden of Philadelphia:  Mosaic Immersion with Isaiah Zagar

In a Dream:  Jeremiah Zagar’s Document of his Father

6 comments

  1. Kathryn says:

    It is absolutely beautiful. I had the privilege of seeing a large Tiffany Mosaic when visiting Gannet Girl. It was a similar experience to viewing Botticelli’s “La Primavera” in Florence – that is a huge statement but Tiffany’s mosaics are a new and amazing perspective on glass.

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