Above: Photo by David Schlegel
50 Lamps: 33 Original, 17 Convincing Forgeries.
Can you spot the difference?
The largest traveling exhibition on Tiffany lamps to date, “Tiffany or Tiphony? The Art of Looking” draws from The Neustadt’s renowned collection and contextualizes the history of the Tiffany lamp forgery — known as a Ti-phony — in exciting new ways.
Today, the term “Tiffany lamp” has come to mean any lamp made by putting together small pieces of glass. But authentic Tiffany lamps, created at Louis C. Tiffany’s famous Tiffany Studios between 1900 and 1925, are unparalleled – exquisite in design, material, and craftsmanship.
These lamps fell out of favor in the 1930s but, between the 1950s and 1980s, exhibitions and publications devoted to Tiffany’s artistic genius revived serious interest in these works of art. Some contemporary stained-glass artisans began creating forgeries to profit from the rapidly-increasing market values of Tiffany artworks. Concurrently, a rise in “how-to” books and classes on the craft of stained and leaded glass cemented the popularity and pervasiveness of Tiffany-style lamps, which continues today.
It can be challenging to tell the difference between an authentic Tiffany and a Tiphony, and the lamp forgeries in this exhibition are convincing. But if you look closely, there are always clues.
Outstanding Tiffany lamps and forgeries, a dazzling assortment of archival Tiffany glass, and contextualizing ephemera and artifacts bring this story to life. No previous knowledge of Tiffany is required. Empowered with newfound knowledge, visitors can test their observation skills at the end of the exhibition and try to answer the question: Tiffany or Tiphony?