40 E. Erie
Chicago, IL 60611
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum announces Glass to Garden: Tiffany Inspired Floral Designs, an exhibition showcasing newly commissioned floral design installations from four local floral designers in dialogue with work by Louis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios. The exhibition is curated by Elizabeth Cronin, the founder and Creative Director of Chicago’s Asrai Garden—and widely known as one of the judges on HBO Max’s competition program, “Full Bloom”— who has selected and worked closely with each of the florists to create works inspired by the Tiffany pieces they in turn chose.
From Glass to Garden will be on view at the Driehaus Museum (40 East Erie) from November 30, 2023 to January 7, 2024.
A seminal artist of the Gilded Age, Louis Comfort Tiffany is the best known and most widely collected figure in late nineteenth and early twentieth century American decorative arts. Tiffany relied on forms and colors inspired by nature to create a virtuosic array of windows, lamps, vases, and accessories. By bringing contemporary floral installations together with Tiffany objects, the exhibition will demonstrate a new way of seeing these works—taking them beyond their more traditional presentation and vividly connecting them with the natural forms that so inspired their creation. Glass to Garden will feature a total of eight Tiffany works, including vases and lamps drawn from the Driehaus Museum and the private collection of Richard H. Driehaus.
The floral designers participating in the exhibition include Angelica Rivera Varela from Semillas Plant Studio; John Caleb Pendleton from Planks & Pistils; Taylor Amilas Bates from Dusk Lily Floral; and Serena Madrigal from Espinas. This diverse group of emerging designers will draw on their own backgrounds as further sources of inspiration for their designs.
“Nature was Tiffany’s muse,’ says Executive Director, Lisa M. Key. “And so we’re having a bit of fun with this idea in Glass to Garden. Now contemporary floral artists—who work directly with nature—are letting Tiffany be their muse. We’re particularly excited to partner with Elizabeth on this exhibition, given her own work as a floral designer and her array of experiences both collaborating with and guiding others in the field."
According to curator Elizabeth Cronin, "The designers will be using preserved floral and plant material, which is a very new approach to floral design, and also helps to keep the Museum’s historic interiors critter-free. The juxtaposition of contemporary floral artists using a modern medium in a modern design style, inside a Gilded Age home and in conversation with Tiffany's work from the same time period, is exciting for us as designers and we hope will be equally engaging for the Museum’s audiences."
This is the first floral exhibition at the Driehaus Museum and the timing—as fall recedes into winter—is intentional to coincide with the museum’s Gilded Gala on November 30 and the start of the festive holiday season. This year, in tandem with this exhibition, the museum will be celebrating a season of light with a festive focus on Christmas, Hanukkah, St. Lucia Day, and Kwanzaa.
About Elizabeth Cronin
Elizabeth Cronin is a floral, retail, and interior designer. A Chicago native, she founded Asrai Garden in the heart of the City’s Wicker Park neighborhood in 1999. Known for its stunning floral arrangements, luxurious fine jewelry, and magical curiosities, Cronin opened a second location in 2018 in the historic Fulton Market district of Chicago’s West Loop. In addition to her stores and consultative design work, Cronin is also the founder and supporter of the Black Florist Fund, in partnership with Association for Enterprise Opportunity (AEO) and a team of Black entrepreneur advisors. Through donations and sponsorships, Black Florist Fund (BFF) aims to provide worry-free capital grants and other crucial business resources to for-profit Black florists and Black flower farmers across the U.S. The fund was able to raise $90,000 and provide capital to seven Black florists across the US. Cronin has also served as a judge on the hit reality competition show “Full Bloom” on HBO Max.
About the Richard H. Driehaus Museum
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum engages and inspires the global community through exploration and ongoing conversations in art, architecture, and design of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are presented in an immersive experience within the restored Samuel Mayo Nickerson Mansion, completed in 1883, at the height of the Gilded Age, and the soon to open Murphy Auditorium, built in 1926. The Museum’s collection reflects and is inspired by the collecting interests, vision, and focus of its founder, the late Richard H. Driehaus. For more information, visit driehausmuseum.org and connect with the museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.