Louis Comfort Tiffany Mosaic

Willard Memorial Chapel, Auburn, NY

In collaboration with Crawford & Stearns Architects and Preservation Planners, EverGreene conservators performed a condition assessment of the large-scale mosaic artwork designed by Jacob Adolph Holzer at the Willard Memorial Chapel in Auburn, NY. The chapel was once part of the campus complex of Auburn Theological Seminary, founded in between 1818-1821. The entire interior of the chapel was created by Louis Comfort Tiffany’s studio and is thought to be the last remaining intact Tiffany interior in the United States.

The large-scale Tiffany glass mosaic, designed by Jacob Adolphus Holzer in 1894, is located on the south wall and inset into the plaster-on-masonry wall in the back of the chapel. The mosaic is made of colored glass tesserae with bas-relief gilt plaster of allegorical classical figures and lettering. The tesserae are predominantly shades of gold, intermixed with opaque glass and inlaid green and a red/black stone. The purpose of the assessment was to document and assess existing conditions as a baseline for proposed treatments for the Holzer Mosaic. Swab test, UV investigation, sounding, metal detector readings, and drill tests were conducted to evaluate the condition of the mosaic. Supplementary treatment recommendations are provided to the client, based on our findings from the assessment and drawing on our experience with mosaic conservation cleaning and repairs.