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Until I visited the Chicago Cultural Center , my image of Tiffany glass was of tired lamps found at The Old Spaghetti Factory.  It wasn’t until I saw the massive glass dome in the cultural centre and learned about Tiffany’s ground-breaking techniques that I became interested in the man and his innovations.

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Where’s my lasagna and garlic bread?

In October, we travelled to Orlando and I learned of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art .  The museum name is misleading because the museum is all about Tiffany and houses the largest collection of his glass in the world.  It is located in Winter Park, a stately suburb of Orlando.  The museum is world class and covers all aspects of Tiffany’s life and innovations including: this massive wealth; his influence at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair (his entire World’s Fair chapel is housed in the museum); his estate (partially moved and rebuilt in the museum after a fire); his influence as an interior designer; his family life; his father’s Tiffany jewelry company; his interest in Eastern art and architecture; and his women’s glass cutting department.

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Window from Tiffany’s chapel in 1893 World’s Fair

Each room in the museum has a pile of well-written, informative pamphlets of background information related to the objects in that room.  These pamphlets alone, are worth the price of admission as, together, they form an easy to read, full account of the the man and why he was trailblazer in the day.

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Daffodil column from Tiffany’s estate

A visit to this museum is recommended if: you have an interest in art nouveau glass/jewelry/pottery; you like world-class, excellent value museums; you want to learn more about a fabulously rich family of the Rockefeller era; are fascinated by the 1893 World Columbian Exposition; enjoy beauty.

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Dragonfly lamp is one of Tiffany’s most famous pieces but was actually designed by Clara Driscoll, head of the Women’s Glass Cutting Department.  She was the true creator of many of his most iconic pieces and was the person who oversaw the team that produced the Chicago Cultural Center dome.

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Eight of us spent an afternoon in the dim coolness of the Morse Museum and it cost us a total of $19 US!  What a deal.

Adults – $6

Seniors 60+ – $5

Students – $1

Kids 12 and under – FREE

Free on Fridays from 4-8 pm, Free Parking all the time

Tuesday-Saturday: 9:30 – 4:00 (8:00 on Fridays)

Sunday: 1-4, closed Mondays