Tucked inside an unmarked warehouse in Long Island City, there is a priceless assortment of Tiffany glass, a colorful assemblage of odds and ends that make up part of the largest Tiffany collection ever assembled. Brilliant pieces of flat glass in sheets and shards and beguiling glass “jewels,” more than a quarter of a million pieces in total, are stored in towering rows of shelves and drawers. These pieces were salvaged from the Tiffany Studios in Corona, Queens when it shut down in 1937, and were acquired by a Dr. Egon Neustadt in 1967. While pieces of Neustadt’s collection are on display in the Queens Museum, the New-York Historical Society and in travelling exhibitions, the Glass Archives have remained largely unseen by the public. Untapped New York recently got to explore inside the Archive, and a select, lucky few can do the same each month on one of the Archive’s new behind-the-scenes tours. These tours are only offered to six people at a time, but if you are an Untapped New York Insider, you can join us on one of two, free, members-only tours on November 8th. Not a member yet? Become an Insider today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long! Take a look inside the Archives to see what treasures you will discover.
Dr. Egon Neustadt and his wife Hildegard started their Tiffany collection in 1935 when they purchased a Tiffany lamp for their Flushing apartment at a second-hand shop in Greenwich Village for $12.50. As Dr. Neustadt’s professional career as an orthodontist and real estate developer flourished, they began to collect even more variations of Tiffany work, such as windows and bronze desk sets. When the Tiffany Studio in Queens shut down in 1937, its remaining stock was liquidated. In 1967, the Neustadts came into possession of these pieces.
The Neustadt’s collection provides an invaluable resource for the study of Tiffany’s legacy. The Glass Archive contains examples of nearly every color and technique employed in Tiffany designs. From the elegant and three-dimensional drapery glass that mimics the look of fabric, to the multi-colored “Foliage” glass or “confetti” glass used to depict dense vegetation, the Archive illustrates the mastery Tiffany achieved within the craft of glassmaking and the many creative ways he bent the medium to the artistic goals of his Studio.
Since the 1960s, The Neustadt has been incorporated as a non-profit organization. The museum works to preserve, study and share the collection’s history and beauty with the public. In addition to caring for the collection, The Neustadt is also gathering oral histories from the families of former Tiffany employees in order to record and preserve the names and stories of the people who played an important role in Louis C. Tiffany’s success. Over the years, The Neustadt collection has been expanded through purchases and gifts of artwork, archival materials and ephemera.
The Neustadt now offers monthly tours for small groups of just six visitors at a time. If you are an Untapped New York Insider, you can join us on one of two members-only tours on Friday, November 8th, for free! The tours will be led by Lindsy Parrott, the Executive Director and Curator of The Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass. On this tour, guests will see the collection come to life with dazzling lighting demonstrations and an up-close at the stunning glass pieces. Participants will learn the secrets behind Tiffany’s groundbreaking innovations in glassmaking and his revolutionary contributions to the art of stained glass. Not a member yet? Become an Insider today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long!
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Check out more photos from inside the glass archives below: