The other day I had some free time so I popped over to the Tiffany display at the Biltmore Estate. Antler Hill Village is really convenient to Biltmore Avenue. Its taken me longer to drive to Asheville Mall, get into the parking lot, find a parking place and then walk into the mall than to reach the Antler Hill Village. Its that close.
When I got there a close parking spot had just come open. The good news is that there’s an air conditioned shuttle bus I could’ve ridden if I hadn’t found one. It runs right up to the village square. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it crowded.
If I’d had more time I would’ve stopped and sat a while in the Square. Its a picturesque group of buildings around a large village green. The landscaping at Biltmore is always impeccable but at this time of year the flowers seem to be at their peak. I can’t name them all, but I counted over twenty varieties in the flowerbeds around the green. A live acoustic guitar performance in the pavilion made it a picture perfect scene.
The Tiffany Display is not hard to find. Follow the signs or head to the Legacy Center and Exhibition Theater at the center of the square between Cedric’s and the Winery. No food or drink is allowed, but there’s plenty of shaded seating to sit and finish a snack before you go in. There was a tent right beside the Legacy Center with chairs and tables under it. It was so nice that even though I didn’t have a snack I still thought about taking a seat and watching the world go by.
The Tiffany Exhibition is an amazing display that rivals what most museums have. I had expected only a few items but was surprised to see there are literally dozens of pieces in it. You can’t touch or take photos but it won’t matter when you get there. Just seeing them will be worth the trip. At least it was for me.
Biltmore has literally reworked the entire center around the Tiffany display. This is another example of why why I have a season pass to the Estate. Their design team is top-notch. They provide guests with a flawless “Biltmore experience.” Once you enter the Tiffany display you’ll see what I mean. It’s an entire building devoted to the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
The most prominently featured items are, of course, the Tiffany lamps. These are displayed alongside photographs and text placing them in a historic context. The craft of the glassworker is emphasized, helping the exhibit visitor to appreciate their significance. Personally I was impressed not only by the glasswork but also by the intricate bronze bases they sat on.
The exhibition hall is the perfect setting for this exhibit. The rich wood beams, molding and panelling give the feel of a great museum. The rich colors and the exhibition design provide a warm, cozy feel to the rooms. It’s like its own little world.
The great thing about the exhibit is it will be there until October. I definitely intend to go back and encourage you to also. It is worth the time and effort.