Caleb Nichols

Caleb Nichols

 

 

It happened in 1980, while I was a student at Tulane. Most of my time was spent at the Newcomb Art building. I was upstairs when I noticed a trap door in the ceiling. It looked pretty inviting, so I stacked together some boxes and clambered up.

The attic was a huge space, comprising the entire interior of the building. There were large windows at both ends, letting in light. The whole place was pretty empty, except for the stack of ten or twelve large stained glass windows collecting dust at one end. Upon closer inspection, I realized I they were important: given their style and age, I thought they might have been Tiffany, or even La Farge! The leaf work was particularly recognizable. Even in their neglected state, they were beautiful. I felt like an archeologist discovering hidden treasure! I admired them carefully and then let them be.

It turns out they were indeed Tiffany and remained in the attic for another fifteen years. The University had them refurbished and built a museum for them and Newcomb pottery. They might have been up there since 1918.

So I think of them from time to time. I am currently focusing on creating transparent color combinations with my new pieces, a technique Tiffany used. Perhaps someday they'll end up forgotten in a dusty attic as well.

 

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