On Saturday I had one of the best days I ever had. I love cultural events and on Saturday I attended a Tiffany Conference in my city. The conference was called See Tiffany in a New Light and it was held at Saint Paul’s Episcopal church in Troy, New York.
The conference was quite a learning experience for me because I had no idea that Louis Comfort Tiffany was also an interior designer. My only knowledge about Louis Tiffany was that he designed and made lamps. Tiffany was hired to redesign the interior of Saint Paul’s Episcopal church in downtown Troy. Everything in Saint Paul’s is Tiffany designed. Besides stained glass windows, the chandeliers are all by Tiffany. All of the wood scroll-work and stencils on the vaulted ceilings are Tiffany. The pews, glass jeweled altar rails, glass mosaic tiles, the walls, the organ pipes are all by Tiffany. Of all the church Louis Tiffany redesigned, Saint Paul’s is one of only four churches completely redesigned by Louis Tiffany that remain untouched. Other churches that Tiffany redesigned were either demolished or later stewards of the church took out or painted over Tiffany’s work. The example at Saint Paul’s may just be the most spectacular of the four churches. When you walk inside you are immediately blown away by its beauty. There is so much to take in and I am so proud to such a fine example of Tiffany interior design in my city.
I love this ornate soundboard over the lectern on the left hand side. I took the picture above with my iphone. Since I am still getting used to using it the picture it did not come out so clear. What you see is the eagle lectern that is on the right hand side of the chancel. It is really gorgeous and makes quite a statement. Both lecterns were actually already there when Louis Tiffany was hired to redesign the church. There are only a few things that Tiffany decided to keep in the church. Everything else Tiffany redesigned.
If you look at the first photo you will see a room on each side of the altar area. Louis Tiffany added those rooms so give the church an Anglican look.
The conference was 6 hours long which included two fifteen minutes breaks and an hour for lunch. The keynote speaker was Alice Cooney Freylinghuysen who is a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Tony Anadio, Julie L. Sloan and Ned Pratt also did presentations at the conference. All of the speakers used accompanying slide shows which was a great help.
The conference was sponsored by Saint Paul’s Church, Women of Saint Paul’s, Rensselaer County Historical Society and Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gateway. The conference was very well-organized, started on time and kept pace so that it ended promptly at 3:30pm. I love it when I attend a cultural event and everything goes so smoothly. I applaud everyone who worked to bring this conference together.
During lunch break I had the pleasure of joining some of my Troy neighbors for a great meal at the Troy Farmer’s market around the corner from the church. I had a great vegan meal called Masala Dosa
When the dosa is cooked potato masala is spread onto the dosa. You can see the potato masala in the first food picture. After you spread the masala you add chutney of your choice to it. I added only one hot and spicy chutney. My lunch meal was delicious. The Masala Dosa was so big that I could only eat half of it. The other half was dinner later that evening.
After lunch break we headed back to hear the Keynote speaker enlighten us about Louis Comfort Tiffany himself.
Tiffany lived amazingly well. This was a period of time called the Gilded Age when many Americans became extremely wealthy, and built “summer cottages” along the east coast of New York State, and in Newport Rhode Island. These summer cottages were as big as the Tiffany mansion, and in many cases even larger.