Biographical / Historical
Gene Moore was born in Birmingham, Alabama on June 10, 1910. Although Moore studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago, he was mainly self-taught in design. His first display job was with I. Miller in New York from 1936-1938. Moore became a display assistant at Bergdorf Goodman (Delman Shoe division) in New York in 1938. Moore then became display manager at Bonwit Teller in New York City in 1945, where he frequently collaborated with well-known artists of the Pop Art movement including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and Robert Rauschenberg.
During this time, the profession of window display was gaining acceptance with the work of Moore and his contemporaries Henry F. Callahan at Lord & Taylor, Sidney Ring at Saks Fifth Avenue, and John R. Foley at Macy's, among others.
Moore joined Tiffany & Company in 1955 and is best known for his highly acclaimed work as Display Manager, Artistic Director, and Vice President. Walter Hoving, Chairman of the Board of Tiffany, charged Moore with the following mission: "I want you to make our windows as beautiful as you can according to your own taste ... Above all, don't try to sell anything; we'll take care of that in the store." There he created innovative, imaginative window displays for almost 40 years, from 1955 to 1994. His designs were famous for combining and juxtaposing common, everyday objects with exquisite pieces of fine jewelry.
Moore selected each object to echo the shapes, forms, and textures of the others. In addition, he designed jewelry and silver objects for Tiffany, most notably, his 1988 "Tiffany Circus" which featured 28 miniature circus animals and performers. Moore also worked as a freelance designer, starting in 1955, for Clarence House, Seagram Building, Delmar Shoe Salon, Madison Avenue Bookstore, American Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art, Castelli Gallery, and Paul Taylor Dance Company, among others. In addition, he is credited with the design of the lobby of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. His autobiography, My Time at Tiffany's, was written with Jay Hyams and published in 1990. His work was the subject of the 1996-1997 exhibition, "Moon Over Pearls, Gene Moore's Tiffany Windows and Beyond"; held at The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
"Gene Moore, 88, Window Display Artist, Dies"; The New York Times, November 26, 1998, page C17.