Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany

American artist, designer and businessman
Date of Birth: 18.02.1848
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Louis Comfort Tiffany
  2. Early Career
  3. American Art Association
  4. Success with "Favrile" Glass
  5. Tiffany Studios
  6. Later Years and Legacy

Biography of Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany was an American artist, designer, and businessman, and a leader of the "modern" style in national art. He was born in New York on February 18, 1848, into the family of Charles Lewis Tiffany, a prominent entrepreneur who founded a company that held leading positions in American jewelry production and trade.

Early Career

In 1866, Tiffany studied in the workshop of J. Inness, and then in Paris with D. Baye in 1868. He traveled extensively in his youth, particularly in North Africa and Spain. Upon his return to the United States in the early 1870s, he painted landscapes and genre scenes in the Orientalist style. He also collected Far Eastern and Islamic utensils and furniture.

American Art Association

In 1877, Tiffany co-founded the American Art Association with J. La Farge and others, aiming to promote modernism in contrast to academicism. He was greatly influenced by the English Arts and Crafts Movement. Soon, he focused his interests entirely on decorative design, particularly artistic glass. In 1878, he opened his own glass factory in Queens, a suburb of New York.

Success with "Favrile" Glass

Tiffany achieved great success with his "Favrile" glass, which featured glass colored with special reactive agents that gave it a matte or glossy finish. The glass also included patterns in the form of fused reliefs and metal partitions, enamels, and semi-precious stones. Tiffany's less elaborate biomorphic ornamentation, compared to European modernism, combined with the whimsical forms of his creations, such as decorative vessels and lamps, stained glass, and perfume bottles, sometimes formed picturesque ensembles that blended the traditions of European medievalism (stained glass), Muslim East (lamp decoration), and Japan (gilded wallpaper).

Tiffany Studios

The company, known as "Tiffany Studios" since 1900, executed various projects, mostly based on its owner's sketches, including the glass chapel for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago (1893), the decoration of Laurelton Hall, Tiffany's country house in Oyster Bay (Long Island; no longer extant), the transparent panel in the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City (1911), and the Dream Garden stained glass in the offices of the Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia (based on a design by M. Parrish; 1915). Its products also found their way into everyday life, bringing vibrant diversity to the design of New York windows, for example.

Later Years and Legacy

After his father's death in 1902, Tiffany took over the management of the business and his father's company. Thanks to the "Tiffany style," American decorative design became the subject of imitation and active attention in Europe for the first time. Tiffany passed away in New York on January 17, 1933.