4. The World’s Largest Collection of Tiffany Lamps
The New-York Historical Society is home to 132 Tiffany lamps, the largest collection of Tiffany lamps in the world. Surprisingly, this collection was not pieced together over time, but given to the museum in one gift from a single collector, Dr. Egon Neustadt. Neustadt and his wife, Hildegard, purchased their first Tiffany lamp in 1935 from an antique store in Greenwich Village. Over the next fifty years, the Neustadts’ Tiffany collection grew to include leaded-glass windows, desk sets, and other items created by the Louis Comfort Tiffany studio. The lamps at the Historical Society make up about half of Dr. Neustadt’s collection.
While the eponymous men of the Tiffany studio are well known enough, the Historical Society’s exhibit calls attention to lesser known stories of the women who worked at the Tiffany studio, known as The Tiffany Glass Girls. In 1892, in response to a strike by the male-only Lead Glaziers and Glass Cutters Union, Louis C. Tiffany created the Women’s Glass Cutting Department and hired women to replace the men. The department was run by Clara Wolcott Driscoll who designed many Tiffany lampshades and mosaic bases as well as smaller objects produced by the studio.
More of Dr. Nuestadt’s collection can be seen at the Queens Museum and at The Nuestadt Collection of Tiffany Glass, a non-profit established by Dr. Nuestadt in 1969 to house, inside a warehouse in Long Island City, his extensive collection.