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Suggestion for Decoration of Hershey Community Theater, Hershey, PA

Artist:
Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, New York 1848–1933 New York)
Maker:
Tiffany Studios (1902–32)
Date:
ca. 1915
Geography:
Made in New York, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Watercolor, gouache, pen and black ink, aluminum paint, and graphite on artist board with original shaped window mat
Dimensions:
25 9/16 x 31 5/16 in. (65 x 79.5 cm) Other (Design): 23 15/16 x 27 9/16 in. (60.8 x 70 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Walter Hoving and Julia T. Weld Gifts and Dodge Fund, 1967
Accession Number:
67.654.11
Not on view
Chocolate magnate Milton Hershey commissioned Louis Comfort Tiffany to design the interiors of the Hershey Theater as one of his many gifts to the town he created in Pennsylvania. Tiffany’s designs envelop the viewer in the aura of an Italian garden room. Classical details such as the arched windows, columnar balustrades, and ashlar masonry set the scene. Wisteria in a trellis in leaded glass set into each arch extends the fantasy beyond the theater walls. The death of Hershey’s wife in 1915 and World War I brought the project to a halt. When it was resumed in 1929, Hershey used the original plans drawn by C. Emlen Urban in 1915. Unfortunately, by then Tiffany had retired from the Studios and his interior design scheme was essentially abandoned. Today, the decoration of the theater bears little resemblance to Tiffany’s imaginative Italian fancy.
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