‘Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Company’ at The Met

 

 

 

Installation view, Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. Photos by Eileen Travel, Courtesy of The Met

Edward C. Moore (1827–1891)—the creative force who led Tiffany & Co. to unparalleled originality and success during the second half of the 19th century—amassed a vast collection of decorative arts of exceptional quality and in various media, from Greek and Roman glass and Japanese baskets to metalwork from the Islamic world. The objects were a source of inspiration for Moore, a noted silversmith in his own right, as well as the designers he supervised. The exhibition Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. (opening June 9, 2024) will feature more than 180 extraordinary examples from Moore’s personal collection, which he bequeathed to The Met, alongside 70 magnificent silver objects designed at Tiffany & Co. under his direction. Drawn primarily from the Museum’s holdings, the display will also include seldom-seen examples from a dozen private and public lenders. A defining figure in the history of American silver, Moore played a pivotal role in shaping the legendary Tiffany design aesthetic and the evolution of The Met’s collection.

Girdle Clasp, 19th century, Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891. Image courtesy The Met

The exhibition will position Tiffany & Co. works in dialogue with relevant groupings of objects that Moore collected. Highlights will include the world-famous Bryant Vase (1876), which was the first example of American silver to enter The Met collection and incorporates classical Greek, Renaissance Revival, and Aesthetic movement elements; a silver pitcher (1874) accented with an exquisitely cast elephant head that serves as an example of Tiffany & Co.’s engagement with works of art from the Islamic world and the Indian subcontinent; and a recently acquired silver, copper, gold, and silver-copper-zinc alloy vase (1879) that draws technical and aesthetic inspiration from Japanese ceramics, lacquerware, and metalwork. These juxtapositions will offer the public an enlightening glimpse into the sources of inspiration and working methods of a defining figure in the history of American silver.

Installation view, Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. Photos by Eileen Travel, Courtesy of The Met

The range of Moore’s collection will be represented through such diverse objects as: a 5th-century B.C. Greek vase; 1st-century Roman glass unguentarium (perfume bottle); 13th-century Syrian enameled glass bowl; ca. 1500 Spanish luster-painted earthenware dish; 18th-century Murano (Venetian) glass cup; 19th-century Japanese lacquered box; and a 19th-century Caucasian (probably Georgian) dagger.

Installation view, Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. Photos by Eileen Travel, Courtesy of The Met

After Moore’s death, more than 2,000 objects and hundreds of books from his pioneering collection were donated to The Met, where they continue to inspire and educate artists and the broader public. The relationship between Moore and The Met is an important chapter in the story of American art and design education.

Below are a few of the exhibition images

Knife Handle (Kozuka) with Lotus Motif, Japanese, 19th century, Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891. Image courtesy The Met

 

Installation view, Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. Photos by Eileen Travel, Courtesy of The Met

 

String of Mushrooms, Japan, first half 19th century, Ivory, Edward C. Moore Collection, Bequest of Edward C. Moore, 1891. Image courtesy of The Met.

 

Installation view, Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. Photos by Eileen Travel, Courtesy of The Met

 

Installation view, Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. Photos by Eileen Travel, Courtesy of The Met

Credits and Related Content
Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co.  is curated by Medill Higgins Harvey, Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts and Manager, The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, The Met.

The exhibition catalogue was edited by exhibition curator Medill Higgins Harvey with contributions by Deniz Beyazit, Curator, Department of Islamic Art; Monika Bincsik, Diane and Arthur Abbey Curator for Japanese Decorative Arts, Department of Asian Art; Christopher S. Lightfoot, former Curator, Department of Greek and Roman Art; and Iris Moon, Associate Curator, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. The catalogue also includes contributions by Andrea Achi, Mary and Michael Jaharis Associate Curator of Byzantine Art, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters; John Byck, Associate Curator, Department of Arms and Armor; Sheila R. Canby, Curator Emerita, Department of Islamic Art; Maryam Ekhtiar, Patti Cadby Birch Curator, Department of Islamic Art; Moira Gallagher, Assistant Curator, Tiffany & Co.; Kyriaki Karoglou, former Associate Curator, Department of Greek and Roman Art; Pengliang Lu, Brooke Russell Astor Curator of Chinese Art, Department of Asian Art; Amy McHugh, Curator, The Corning Museum; Annamarie Sandecki, former Corporate Archivist, Tiffany & Co.; Karen Stamm, Conservator, Department of Objects Conservation; and Catherine D. Stergar, an independent scholar. Published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press, the richly illustrated book is available in the Met Store.

Installation view, Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co. Photos by Eileen Travel, Courtesy of The Met

The Exhibition of Edward C. Moore’s Collection of Decorative Arts ~ Collecting Inspiration ~ will be on view from June 9 to October 20, 2024 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gallery 199, 1000 Fifth Avenue, NYC. This exhibition is made possible by Tiffany & Co.

While you’re there, don’t miss The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism ~ and step out into the Roof Garden to see Petrit Halilaj, Abetare. 

One thought on “‘Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Company’ at The Met

  1. Can’t wait to see this exhibit. Your descriptions are very enticing Sounds like a lovely new exhibit at The Met for summer viewing

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