InspirationOriginally created for the Gothic revival mansion of Boston real estate magnate Loren Delbert Towle, Tiffany’s “Autumn Landscape — The River of Life” was divided into lancet windows, reminiscent of a medieval cathedral. The traditional subject matter, a mountain stream flowing into a placid pool, is infused with strong spiritual overtones. The window was designed to alter in reaction to the changing intensity of natural light.

Commissioned by a wealthy Londoner to create a dining room suitable to display a strong Chinese porcelain collection, James McNeill Whistler quickly imposed his individual vision on Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room. Although the project generated quarrels over looks and price, today it stands as a unique testament to the power of beauty and art from several cultures.