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Silver Standard

An exhibition at the Met highlights the career and collections of Tiffany’s great silver designer, Edward C. Moore.

Tiffany & Co. (1837–present), Jug, probably Herat, Afghanistan, early 16th century

Tiffany & Co. (1837–present), Jug, probably Herat, Afghanistan, early 16th century, brass, silver, gold, and black compound. H. 5 5⁄8 in., Max. Diam. 6 1⁄8 in.

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The figure of Edward Chandler Moore (1827–91) is a highly unusual one in the history of art and design, because he united in himself the disparate roles of craftsman, collector, and patron. As a silversmith, he was an innovator in manufacturing and a visionary creator who became the chief silver designer of Tiffany & Company. As a collector, he had a keen eye for Japanese baskets, Islamic metalwork, and ancient Greek and Roman glass, among many other things. And as a patron, he established the core of a number of collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York when he bequeathed to it much of his collection of nearly 2,000 objects.

The Met will be honoring Moore with an exhibition that examines the influence of the works he collected on the works he created, or helped create. “Collecting Inspiration: Edward C. Moore at Tiffany & Co.” will place 70 silver objects made by Tiffany during Moore’s tenure there alongside more than 180 objects from Moore’s collection. Most of the pieces on display come from the Met’s collection, with the addition of pieces from a dozen public and private lenders. The exhibition was organized by Medill Higgins Harvey, Associate Curator and Manager of the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, with the assistance of Moira Gallagher, Research Associate, The American Wing. The accompanying catalogue was written with the assistance of Met curators from the departments of Islamic Art, Japanese Decorative Arts, Greek and Roman Art, and European Sculpture and Decorative Arts. “Collecting Inspiration” was scheduled to open on July 13 and run through October 4, but the schedule is still undecided pending the reopening of the museum in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

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By John Dorfman

Author: Art & Antiques Magazine | Publish Date: June 2020

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