Laurelton Hall: The House that Provided Inspiration for Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Works
What is Laurelton Hall?
Laurelton Hall is a country estate that was built in 1902, in the environs of Oyster Bay, New York. Laurelton Hall became the home of Louis Comfort Tiffany and his family. Laurelton Hall was a place where Louis Comfort Tiffany would go to escape the city life of New York City. The house also served as inspiration for many of his works throughout his lifetime.
- 1 Laurelton Hall: The House that Provided Inspiration for Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Works
- 1.1 What is Laurelton Hall?
- 1.2 Architecture and Gardens
- 1.3 Tiffany and Laurelton Hall
- 1.4 Interior Design – What kind of art was displayed at Laurelton Hall?
- 1.5 What happened Laurelton Hall?
- 1.6 What did Laurelton House have to do with Louis Comfort Tiffany’s work?
- 1.7 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation
- 1.8 Metropolitan museum of art
Architecture and Gardens
LCT began to build Laurelton Hall in 1902, taking three year to complete. Most of the larger properties of the period were built in the style of French chateaux or Italian Palaces. Tiffany decided to take a different approach taking his influences from Asia and the Middle East. He wanted Laurelton Hall to be a retreat from the busy city life that he had grown accustomed to.
Laurelton Hall was the one and only house that Louis Comfort Tiffany designed from start to finish, including all of its furnishings.
The house is built in red brick and limestone, with an Oriental flavor. The main hall has nine domes of unequal size arranged on its tiled roofline. They were designed by Tiffany himself and constructed without nails or glue – just an ingenious system of curved metal rods and brackets.
Tiffany and Laurelton Hall
What were the influence that inspired Tiffany in his design of Laurelton Hall?
Tiffany looked forward with modernistic architectural elements in his design featuring many clean lines.
The house is surrounded with lush gardens and scenic views of Long Island Sound. Louis Comfort Tiffany incorporated his designs in many areas of Laurelton Hall including stained glass windows, mosaics and paintings inside the home’s main living space.
Outside Laurelton Hall, Louis Comfort Tiffany designed the gardens to include a fountain and his signature glass pavilion.
The home boasted eighty-four rooms and eight different levels, as well as extensive grounds in which the house was integrated carefully.
The grand hall was decorated with stained glass windows, over seventy-five in all. Tiffany’s favorite window was the one he designed for Laurelton Hall titled “Everlasting Window”. It shows three women representing Faith Hope and Love sitting under a tree embracing each other – it symbolizes his family life.
The house has a library, an art studio and three guest bedrooms on the second floor. The six rooms are decorated to represent periods in Louis Comfort Tiffany’s life: Brooklyn (his birthplace), Italy, France
LCT’s work in Laurelton Hall included a new bedroom and bath for his wife, Louisa, the “Tiffany Suite.” And he created two luminaries for the Laurelton entry gate.
The design of Laurelton Hall is said to have been influenced by its natural setting, with many designs taken from nature: for example, peacocks were found roaming around at night so they were incorporated into the stained glass windows. Laurelton Hall is surrounded by a formal garden and woodland.
Tiffany also planted many varieties of trees on the property including cedar, oak and ash that are indigenous to New York State.
The Laurelton Hall gardens are classic examples of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. The design is a product of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s work
The house was set against woodlands on 500 acres of land, within Oyster Bay that LCT had purchased in 1901 for $200,000 which included many miles of trails for “woodland rambles.” Laurelton Hall’s gardens were designed by LCT, and he personally supervised their planting. Laurelton is the only garden that can be said to have been created from LCT’s own handiwork.
Laurelton Hall is set in scenic rural grandeur with a majestic view of Cold Spring Harbor. Louis Comfort Tiffany built the estate into complex, picturesque gardens and woodlands complete with ponds, tennis courts, and a bathing beach nestled by the harbor. The water from an on-site spring was channeled through several more fountains outdoors as well as an indoor fountain.
Interior Design – What kind of art was displayed at Laurelton Hall?
LCT was widely travelled and he filled Laurelton Hall with many of the unusual objects he came across from all over the world, including his impressive Islamic collection of art.
He bought art from the latest French Impressionist and Post-Impressionists, including Alfred Sisley. He also collected Japanese screens that decorated the walls of Laurelton Hall until his death in 1933.
The ceilings of Laurelton Hall are adorned with gold leaf murals incorporating woodland scenes by artist Louis Boehmer. There was the famous Tiffany chapel in Laurelton Hall with stained-glass windows, each one designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
One of the most famous rooms is the library, which features a large round window reminiscent of Tiffany’s stained-glass creations. Laurelton Hall also has examples of his handiwork in glass and stained glass, including lamps, tableware, windows and an elaborate frieze of flowers and birds.
Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen provides a well researched, detailed and illustrated book Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall: An Artist’s Country Estate Paperback, that is available on Amazon, here.
The book contains essays that highlight L.C. Tiffany’s homes and the most treasured pieces he created, which led him to finish his Laurelton Hall estate in Oyster Bay on Long Island. The breathtakingly beautiful photographs in this text will allow you to understand its design and placement over time.
What happened Laurelton Hall?
Later Years – Sale & Fire
Laurelton Hall was gifted to the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. After Louis Comfort Tiffany’s death the house gradually fell into a state of disrepair.
Financial issues led to the sale of the Halls contents in 1946.
Latterly Laurelton Hall was sold and sub-divided.
Finally, the Hall was destroyed by fire in 1957, perhaps caused by electrical issues.
Ultimately, The Laurelton Hall fire made it possible for the public to view more of Tiffany’s artwork and treasures that had been hidden from them previously at Laurelton Hall, as well as other his work. This also allowed people who weren’t able to visit Laurelton Hall before its destruction to see some of its historic pieces in museums around America
What did Laurelton House have to do with Louis Comfort Tiffany’s work?
Laurelton Hall, the former home of artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, provided a canvas for his unique integration of nature and exoticism. This was a dream home where creativity flowed freely and convention was eschewed. Laurelton Hall also served as a retreat where Louis Comfort Tiffany felt at home to express his individuality in all that he did: interior design, craftsman workmanship of leaded glass windows and stained-glass
Louis Comfort Tiffany’s life in Laurelton Hall was one of creativity and accomplishment: not only did he design magnificent gardens at the property, he also created a wide range of work on a variety of media and tiffany lamps.
Tiffany created Laurelton Hall as his own personal refuge, where he could indulge his eclectic tastes and escape from the pressures of business life.
Morse Museum of American
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum, situated in Winter Park Fl. is the ultimate place to visit if you want to experience Louis Comfort Tiffany’s vision of Laurelton Hall.
The museum is the only institution in the United States that has a comprehensive collection of features and art from Laurelton Hall.
It features over one hundred pieces from Laurelton Hall and includes his magnificent leaded-glass windows, furniture, paintings, exhibits on Louis Comfort Tiffany himself and his family as well as examples of 19th-century art glass designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Highlights: Louis Comfort Tiffany’s jewelry, pottery, paintings, art glass, leaded-glass lamps and windows; his famous chapel interior and art and architectural objects rescued from Laurelton Hall.
Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation
Laurelton Hall an artist’s retreat
In 1918, Louis Comfort Tiffany set up his foundation to manage the estate of Laurelton Hall and provide aspiring crafts people and young artists a retreat in which to flourish.
The foundation is notable for being the first artist endowment institution within the United States and for receiving its endowment from a living artist.
Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation: financial support for projects
From 1946 the foundation ceased providing retreats and focused on awarding grants to artists. During this period grants were awarded annually through a competing in a range of categories such as painting, sculpture, graphics, and textile design reflecting Tiffany’s areas of expertise and artistic preferences. Every year, applicants submitted artwork to the National Academy of Design that was then exhibited and judged by its members.
Metropolitan museum of art
Remnants of Laurelton Hall can also be found at The Metropolitan museum of art.
A particularly impressive feature rescued and displayed from Laurelton Hall is a four-column loggia featuring vibrant floral capitals and glass-mosaic decorations
The Metropolitan museum of art has one of the most important collections of Tiffany glasswork.
The museum acquired its first Tiffany collection in 1896 when benefactor H. O. Havemeyer loaned 56 favrile glass vases. In 1925 Tiffany loaned his personal collection of blown glass, enamels, and pottery.
Furniture similar and architectural elements to which that might have been found at Laurelton Hall bequeathed from Havemeyer’s estate are also on display.