Magnificent mountains and shimmering waterfalls adorn The Dream Garden -- a 15 x 49-foot mosaic of 100,000 pieces of favrile glass. Designed by Pennsylvania Academy alumnus Maxfield Parrish (1870 -1966) and produced by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848 -1933), it has graced the lobby of The Curtis Center -- original home of The Saturday Evening Post and Ladies' Home Journal -- since 1916.
The Dream Garden (detail) (1913 -1915) | Favrile glass mosaic | Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) and Tiffany Studios
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Partial bequest of John W. Merriam; partial purchase with funds provided by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts; partial gift of Bryn Mawr College, The University of the Arts, and the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania.
In the months before its final installation at the Curtis Publishing Company Building, The Dream Garden caused a sensation. Seven thousand people, attracted by reports that they would see "the most wonderful favrile mosaic picture in America," visited the Tiffany Studios in Corona, New York. Weighing nearly four tons, The Dream Garden required the efforts of thirty artisans to execute over the course of a year, in thousands of hand-cut pieces of favrile glass, a new type of material invented by Tiffany. A derivation of the Old Saxon word for "handmade," favrile dazzles with iridescent colors and jewel-like patina. As one leading critic of the day breathlessly wrote: "Mere words are only aggravating in describing this amazing picture."
The masterpiece is on view at:
The Curtis Center
Independence Square West
6th & Market Streets, Philadelphia
Mon. - Fri., 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sat. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.