The notion that whatever relation might exist between Tiffany’s glassworks and “nature” could be mimetic, or “very organic”—a proposition the curators of the ongoing GMOA virtual exhibit advance—can only be the result of a perniciously ahistorical idealism. This is an idealism that forges, in the tranquil space of the mind (or in the comfortable space of the bourgeois home), an eternal image of “nature,” which it then proceeds to “discover,” as if for the first time, in even the most artificial, contrived creations, merely because these latter seek out and make use of formal effects of a figurative kind. Against this background, thank you to the writer of “Let the Light In” (Apr. 15) for casting light upon the industrial context, and the wage-labor relations, that not only made possible, but remain absolutely indissociable from the Tiffany aesthetic.
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