Stop 8: Macy’s on State Street

111 N State St Chicago

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Written By The Richard H. Driehaus Museum

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum explores the art, architecture, and design of the late 19th century to the present. Its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are presented in an immersive experience within the restored Nickerson Mansion, completed in 1883. Vibrant educational and cultural programs, as well as exhibitions, place the Gilded Age in context and illuminate the history, culture and urban fabric of Chicago. Photo by Alexander Vertikoff, 2014.

Macy's on State Street Ceiling

The former Marshall Field & Company, now a Macy’s flagship store, houses two examples of Tiffany decorations: the first and largest Tiffany mosaic Favrile glass ceiling and a Tiffany Studios stained-glass window. After the store’s founder, Marshall Field, passed away in 1906, John G. Shedd became president of the iconic Chicago department store (Stop 2 on The Tiffany Trail for information on Shedd’s crypt.) Under Shedd’s leadership an opulent mosaic was commissioned to attract and awe Marshall Field & Co.’s customers.

It took fifty artisans eighteen months to complete the vaulted mosaic for the fifth story atrium. Drawing from the gilded and mosaiced ceilings of Byzantine churches and mausoleums in Ravenna, Italy, the ceiling covers six-thousand square feet and is comprised of over 1.6 million pieces of iridescent glass. Stylistically the ceiling recalls Tiffany’s Byzantine chapel created for the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. This chapel was a successful advertisement for the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, and the reason that we find so many Tiffany commission throughout Chicago.

To learn more about the Tiffany Chapel at the 1893 World’s Fair visit the Driehaus Museum’s exhibition Eternal Light: The Sacred Stained-Glass Windows of Louis Comfort Tiffany. (Stop 5 on Chicago’s Tiffany Trail)

Mon-Sat. 10-9, Sunday 11-8, Free, View from the fifth floor.

Cover photo credit: yooperann via Flickr.

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Stop 8: Macy’s on State Street

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