Tiffany Exhibit Shines at The History Museum

Step into The History Museum this summer and you’re sure to light up at the sight of a new exhibit.

Tiffany: Luminous Masterworks displays 25 striking pieces by artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, best known for his work with glass during the 1890s and early 1900s. Featured items include stained-glass windows, vases, lamps and pottery.

The History Museum is utilizing many pieces on loan from a private collection. It is also displaying Tiffany Company artifacts from its own collection, pieces from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Ruthmere, a museum in nearby Elkhart. Taken together, this exhibit combines local, national and art history.

Stroll through the gallery and you’ll be immersed in a very specific movement: Art Nouveau. Curved lines and natural scenes are hallmarks of the style. The Orchid Floor Lamp — an experimental design known to be the only of its kind in existence — is a perfect example as are the Lilly Windows, which are part of an interactive display with lighting to bring the stained glass to life.

Tiffany, whose father founded the world renowned jewelry company Tiffany & Co., was an important contributor to Art Nouveau period.

Masterworks dives into Tiffany family history, looks at items purchased from the company by South Bend’s Oliver family and more. Check out this slice of history before Sept. 23, when the exhibit ends.

Why Stop There?

The Tiffany collection joins two can’t-miss exhibits that end this summer.

Furs on display are part of the Voyageurs exhibit at The History Museum.

Voyageurs: French Exploration of the New World examines the Great Lakes fur trade and French influence in North America with 29 panels that include maps and drawings. Journals, notes, glass beads, beaver felt hats and other artifacts paint a fuller picture of the period. Don’t just look at them. You can touch different pelts on display to gain a greater appreciation of what these businessmen were trading.

Our area is packed with this history — from the establishment of Fort St. Joseph to early settler Pierre Navarre trading with the local Potawatomi Indians. Voyageurs runs into September.

Commitment, Continuity and Community: Architecture at Notre Dame, 1898-present explores more recent history. This exhibit presents downtown South Bend in the 1920s through 3D printed models, a virtual reality tour and architecture at Notre Dame, new and old. It runs until Aug. 5.

Permanent exhibits include a closer look at the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, history of the St. Joseph Valley region and a collection of Mary Jane Clark miniature lamps.

The Oliver Mansion, home to South Bend businessman J.D. Oliver and his family, is on the museum grounds and available for tours too.