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Current time:0:00Total duration:2:02

Video transcript

(soft music) - Behind me you see a collection of spectacular blown-glass vases by the New York decorator designer stain glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. I want to focus in particular on the most spectacular of this group in the center, this blue iridescent glass of 1913. That really marks the high point of what was an intensive expression of modern materials and forms. The glass is called favrile. It exploits the iridescent, natural, and accidental beauties of blown-glass in this form which drew its inspiration from a "Jack In The Pulpit" flower. I mean it scares me every time I look at this object. It's so fragile and attenuated. It's (form). What I love about this glass is the way it combines ancient and modern. Tiffany was inspired by ancient, Roman, and (terrain) glass, which has this iridescent finish when it was dug up. At the same time, he wanted to create these startling modern objects. People were blown away when they were exhibited at the Colombian Worlds Fair and in the Paris 1900 exhibition. What you see in this blue vase of 1913 is almost like the last gasp, and the combination of this intensive expiration of form and technique for which Tiffany became internationally famed.