Those capital letters in the title aren’t a mistake.  “The Dream Garden” is the name of a Tiffany masterpiece of a Maxfield Parrish masterpiece found in the historic part of Philadelphia.  We were walking along, stopping very often so I could take shots of doors, when my daughter said she thought this was the building that had something in it I’d like.  She was right about both suppositions!  (Not sure why I didn’t think to use the panorama feature on my iPhone, but I didn’t.)

Although this looks like a painting, it’s really a mosaic based on Parrish’s painting and it’s amazingly beautiful.  The mosaic is located in the Curtis Building, former headquarters of The Saturday Evening Post, and is close to Independence Hall, making it easy to visit.

© janet m. webb

Visit Philadelphia’s website informs us:

In the lobby of a somber office building that flanks Washington Square lies an unexpected treasure: the astounding Dream Garden – a 15 × 49-foot mosaic of more than 100,000 pieces of favrile glass. Color and light, masterfully combined by the studios of Louis Comfort Tiffany, bring to life the luminous vision of Philadelphia native Maxfield Parrish, who created the painting on which the mosaic was based.

© janet m. webb

The brilliantly hued work was commissioned by Cyrus Curtis, publisher of The Saturday Evening Post, to grace his empire’s new marble and pillar fortified headquarters. The work has been displayed since 1916 as an integral part of the Curtis Center’s historically certified lobby, yet few people know of its existence. Those who find it – either deliberately or not – are never disappointed.

© janet m. webb

One of only three such works ever undertaken by Tiffany Studios, the piece is comprised of 24 panels that took six months to install in its Philadelphia setting. In 1998, after the piece was put up for sale and casino magnate Steve Wynn attempted to purchase it, a citywide outcry nixed the deal, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts purchased its alumnus’ famous Dream Garden to make sure it would remain where it has always been.

© janet m. webb

  1. Emma Cownie says:

    Beautiful painting/mosaic. I did think it was by “Janet m Webb” until I realised it was your watermark!! ha!ha!

  2. Dan Antion says:

    Your daughter was on target with that suggestion. The mosaic is beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Janet.

  3. His work is always worth gazing and gazing. I’ve been up close and personal to one in a home of a noted local family. His work is classic and holds its place in art history.

  4. Sherry Felix says:

    Love to see it. It’s not too far from me.

  5. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Two of my all-time favorite artists! Thanks for sharing this gorgeous mosaic. It, alone, is reason enough to go to Philadelphia (cheesesteak sandos are a close second).

  6. Murphy's Law says:

    The mosaic is breathtaking! What a treasure. So glad you chose to share it with us. And the windows ain’t too shabby either! 😜

  7. marianallen says:

    Wow! I adore Maxfield Parrish’s paintings, and I love Tiffany’s glasswork, so this is a double-wow for me! Thank you so much for sharing — Now Philly is on my bucket list. 😀

  8. Su Leslie says:

    Absolutely beautiful Janet. And from what I can see of the building itself, not too shabby either 🙂

  9. Dream Garden is SO beautiful, especially when the light shines through it.

  10. JT Twissel says:

    I’m a huge Maxwell Parrish fan! Thanks for this.

  11. Emilio Pasquale says:

    I love Maxfield Parrish and have ever since my college days when I first discovered him- along with most of my generation. I love the way he sees, and shows us, light on his subjects.

  12. joey says:

    The mosaic is beautiful and the windows are glorious. Good detour!

  13. The colors are just breath-taking… So vibrant and jewel-like. These pieces simply glow (and not just from the sunlight in the stained glass!)

  14. NorCal Zen says:

    It is beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  15. pommepal says:

    It certainly is a Dream Garden

  16. JANE says:

    I grew up in suburbs of Philadelphia… and somehow, never saw these. If I go back, will need to seek these beauties out!