Louis Comfort Tiffany – Father of Favrile Art Glass

  • By: Michael
  • Date: September 14, 2021
  • Time to read: 15 min.
Affiliate Disclaimer

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Louis Comfort Tiffany is an American artist, in the art nouveau style, who was born in 1848. He is best known for his stained glass, lamps and windows. Louis’ father, Charles Lewis Tiffany,  founded the prestigious jewelry store, Tiffany & Co, that bears his name, which encouraged Louis to study the craft of making art with glass while he was still young. His earliest works were in the style of medieval cathedrals and lighthouses before he eventually developed his own unique style that combined traditional European techniques with Japanese influences.

American painter, craftsman, philanthropist, decorator, and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany is best known for his stained glass windows and lamps. Louis Tiffany is often referred to as the “Father of Modern Design”.

In this blog post you will learn about Louis’s life from when he was born until the time when he passed away at age 85!

Louis Comfort Tiffany Biography

Louis Comfort Tiffany is a famous decorative arts artist who has a history of creating beautiful stained glass lamps and stained glass windows. Some people may have heard of his work, some might not. But he had an interesting life story that you don’t want to miss out on!

Louis Comfort Tiffany knew that to be a successful artist you needed just one person who believed enough for others to see your talent! So emboldened with this belief-he set out on what would become an amazing career as America’s most famous glassmaker of all time. 

  1. Born in 1848 in New York
  2. Famous father, Charles Lewis Tiffany, Founder of Tiffany & Co
  3. His mother was Harriet Olivia Avery Young and he had five siblings
  4. In 1872 he married Mary Woodbridge Goddard (c.1850-1884) and had 3 children with her: Lillian, Dorothy, and Louis Jr.
  5. After his first wife’s death he married Harriet Olivia Avery Young (1851–1904) on November 9, 1886 and had 4 children with her: Louise, Julia DeForest, Annie Olivia, and Dorothy Trimble Tiffany
  6. Louis Comfort Tiffany died January 17 1933, and his ashes were buried at Green-Wood Cemetery.

How much was Louis Comfort Tiffany worth upon his death?

LCT’s net worth was $20 million. He passed away January 17 1933 and this number takes into account his assets, his estate’s value, as well as the money he had made for other artists from commissioned work or royalties

What is Louis Comfort Tiffany Famous For?

Louis Comfort Tiffany has been credited with developing the technique of opalescent glass which he patented as Favrile Glass – this technique is still popular today.

He also created mosaics for buildings such as at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg and the House of Representatives Chamber at the United States Capitol.

His most famous works include the White House’s Blue Room c.1883, New York Public Library, and Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Louis Comfort Tiffany is considered to be one of America’s greatest designers, he was also a painter and an influential designer-craftsman who helped establish his country’s reputation for high style decoration.

Louis Comfort Tiffany’s glass lamps are highly sought after and regularly fetch millions of pounds at auction.

Louis Comfort Tiffany – Artist for the ages

Louis Comfort Tiffany’s Legacy can be summed up as:

  1. Louis Comfort Tiffany was a famous American artist
  2. He is best known for his stained glass windows and lamps
  3. His work can be found in many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the National Gallery of Art
  4. Tiffany’s style has been very influential on other artists, like Dale Chihuly

He is best known for his stained glass windows and lamps. His work can be found in many museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and National Gallery Of art .

Louis Comfort Tiffany was initially a painter, but gradually shifted to work in glass. He attained great status as an artist during the 1880s and 1890s with his romanticized paintings of landscape that captured what he saw at Point Pleasant on the New Jersey shoreline among other places. Critics were dismissive when America joined World War I because they felt it marked a shift from old-fashioned art like Louis’s into modernism which had been flourishing for over half a century here by then; yet another generation would be born before critics reconsidered their opinions about him–by 1946 there was already something of revival underway thanks to exhibitions including one held at The Museum Of Contemporary Crafts In N ew York City organized by Edgar Kaufmann Jr., Lillian

Tiffany’s style has been very influential on other artists like Dale Chihuly.

Tiffany Lamp Reviews
Looking for a new Tiffany Style Lamp – Check out our detailed reviews …

Click for Reviews

Louis Comfort Tiffany Key Events

  1. Louis Comfort Tiffany was born on February 18, 1848 in New York City
  2. He was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of the luxury goods company Tiffany & Co., and Harriet Olivia Avery Young
  3. His early teens coincided with the American Civil War
  4. He attended formal school at Pennsylvania Military Academy in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and then Eagleswood Military Academy in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and then went to study art at the National Academy of Design (1866-1867)
  5. After finishing school, he wanted to be an artist but his father didn’t approve of this idea because it wasn’t profitable enough for him
  6. Louis married Mary Woodbridge Goddard (c1850-1884) on May 15, 1872
  7. In 1878 he opened his first studio, Louis C. Tiffany & Company, with a partner where they created lamps, stained glass windows, and other decorative objects.
  8. Louis Comfort Tiffany was appointed art director at Tiffany and Co. upon his father’s death in 1902.

Louis Comfort Tiffany Early Life and childhood

Born February 18 1848 in New York, Louis Comfort Tiffany’s childhood is a great example for all children to follow, because even at such an early age we can see just how talented this young boy really had been in his craftsmanship skills as well throughout different materials from wood carvings or metalworking which are still used today by those who do things similar but on much larger scales too.

Louis Comfort Tiffany’s childhood was one that was filled with creativity. He would use the scraps of materials he found and turn them into beautiful works.

Those who are already familiar with Louis Tiffany’s work will be able to spot the influences he has had on contemporary artists. However, even those with little knowledge of his work can see how he has influenced art in various parts the world.

Louis Comfort Tiffany Education

Louis was sent to boarding school at a young age and then went on to study architecture, history, and literature in college. He also studied art with his father’s friend George Inness, who introduced Louis to contemporary European painting styles when studied under him at Eaglewood prior to 1866

Tiffany enrolled at the National Academy of Design where he studied drawing and painting under  such greats as Samuel Colman from 1866–67.

LCT next took his studies abroad to France where he studied under Salon painter Leon-Adolphe-Auguste Belly, from 1868-69. This had a profound impact upon Louis work. It was during this period that he also visited Morocco, which also heavily influenced his artwork.

It was in the mid-1970s that Louis visited John LaFarge and was introduced to his experiments with glass work. This led to LCT’s own interest in glass work, eventually patenting Favrile glass and creating his famous glass lamps and other artwork.

Upon returning to the USA he had no desire whatsoever to pursue academic work or teaching, perhaps because it would have meant breaking ties from the family business which would have been a huge dishonour to them back then.

In 1870-1871 Louis was tutored in mural painting by the noted artist Thomas Seir Cummings at his studio on Broadway near Union Square . During this time tiffany apprenticed to George Pardee Jr., an engraver from New York City.

Louis Comfort Tiffany Early Career

In 1879 he established himself with two paintings: “A Pastoral” and “The Awakening Conscience” which were shown in the National Academy of Design annual exhibition.

Louis Comfort Tiffany began his career in 1879 forming form Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated American Artists, with Candace Wheeler, Samuel Colman, and Lockwood de Forest. They specialized in designs for wallpaper, furniture, and textiles.

This initial venture was short lived and on the 1st December 1885 Louis Comfort Tiffany opened up his first glassmaking company, Tiffany Glass Company.

Tiffany Glass Company later became known as the iconic Tiffany Studios in 1902. Louis Comfort Tiffany’s company produced stained glass windows, lamps and other objects in a style that was not found anywhere else.

Louis Comfort Tiffany’s first notable commission was for the Boston Public Library, where he created a ceiling with paintings of cherubs and goddesses. He also designed stained glass windows there that depicted different scenes in American history including Daniel Webster defending statehood from England; John Adams at Philadelphia signing an agreement to create peace between France & America following Jefferson’s death ; Washington crossing Delaware on Christmas Day 1776

Louis Comfort Tiffany soon established himself with a very successful career as an artist and designer.  He was also a businessman who made glass and jewelry. He worked with many materials such as crystal, mosaic tiles or leaded-glass lampshades but his most famous work is probably the stained and painted windows he created for The Pineapple Room in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal.

Louis Comfort Tiffany work

It was at the turn of the century when tiffany louis comfort became a household name for his handcrafted stained glass windows and jeweled lamps, which were so coveted by New Yorkers they bought them off with instalment plans to avoid waiting in line each day after church on Sunday . This new patronage ushered out old industry practices like bookstores selling religious texts or publishers printing prayer books – as consumers now wanted more than just text; it’s about design! In 1880 he resigned from this position within company (Tiffany & Co.) whereupon devoted himself full time painting instead then later began experimenting various methods utilizing powdered metals such has copper foil , papier-mâché, and bronze .

In 1912 Tiffany’s mosaic work titled “Bible scenes” won a gold medal at the art competitions in Munich. This was one of his earliest experiments with large scale mosaics , which are so characteristic to him as an artist when you look back on all he has accomplished throughout career it’s not hard see how this became such important part for Louis Comfort Tifffany because they offered opportunity create without limitations or restrictions based solely upon size – unlike stained glass windows where design must be compatible dimensions window space available resulting very constrained by format; In 1913 after seeing Byzantine style church ( Hagia Sophia ) during World War I trip abroad ;Louis’ began designing churches including St Agnes Church in Washington, D.C.

Louis Comfort Tiffany Art Style

LCT was an American artist and designer who worked in stained glass, pottery, and jewelry.

LCT was also a leading art nouveau figure. His works are known for their intense colors and elaborate decorative details, which can be seen in the stained glass windows of churches all over America like The Chapel at Versailles or St Agnes Church . Louis’ designs were only limited by his imagination; he had no upper limits on size when it came to working with pieces such as lamps, earthenware, ceilings & buildings. This is because unlike many other artists who must work within certain confines due solely upon what will fit inside an existing space – being unable use too much paint if there isn’t enough wall surface nor create larger than life-size sculptures without destroying plaster from ceiling below, louis comfort tiffany was able to bridge this gap.

His designs often include flowers or plants that symbolize life or death, with the lotus flower becoming a key motif. Above all, Tiffany wanted to capture “the awe of nature’s beauty.”

The art style of Louis C Tiffany art style was heavily influenced by Japanese prints         .

In 1882, Tiffany visited Japan and was captivated by the art he saw. He began incorporating Japanese themes into his work including dragons or peonies in bloom

Louis Comfort Tiffany’s style of art is often described as “Opalescent” or “Orientalist”         

His art is characterized by an appreciation for nature and a desire to capture the awe of beauty. He often used designs that are floral or represent life, death

In 1882 Louis visited Japan where he was captivated with Japanese prints which influenced his work heavily after returning home from this trip – including dragons in bloom as well! His style can be categorized into Opalescent (opaque layers) Orientalist styles- using shapes/layouts seen before typically found only on Asian textiles & paintings but reinterpreted through Western lens; focused mostly around spiritual themes like Hinduism& Buddhism rather than figurative forms we see more commonly today such as animals and so forth.

Louis Comfort Tiffany Studio

In 1878, he opened a studio, the LCT Glass Company, that became internationally recognized as a leader in art glass production and design

Tiffany strongly believed that quality objects should also be functional with useable parts, so he created lamps out of stained-glass windows to mimic the effect of electrical lighting, for interior lighting purposes, because electricity wasn’t common yet at this time period – this is what makes him different than most designers back then! These were often used by churches or mansions where there are large spaces needing light without any electric wires around them. He would have lights hanging all over these buildings.

  1. Tiffany Studios was founded in 1892
  2. The company is best known for its stained glass windows, lamps, vases, mosaics and other items that were created using colorful leaded glass techniques
  3. In addition to the beautiful objects they made, the studio also had a significant impact on interior design with their use of color and patterning
  4. In the late nineteenth century, LCT became interested in using colored glass to create stained-glass windows with a more colorful palette than traditional church windows or other examples from antiquity
  5. He wanted his work to be accessible to everyone who could afford it

5.In 1892, they opened a new Tiffany glass furnaces in Corona, Queens where many of their designs were manufactured, known initially as the Stourbridge Glass Company. Later the Tiffany glass furnaces were renamed Tiffany Furnaces in 1902 and was in operation until 1928

Lewis Comfort Tiffany Awards, Accolades and Achievements

In 1882 he was awarded a medal at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition for his stained glass window “The Daughters of America.”  He became one point and then assistant to renowned architect Stanford White, where Louis contributed to many architectural commissions, including Tiffany’s work on the interior of the original Madison Square Garden and a chapel at Stanford University.

In 1894, Tiffany became one point in charge of his own design studio where he focused on industrial arts with production coming from what is now known as the Tiffany Studios. He was commissioned to create windows for more than 40 churches and cathedrals including those in New York City, Washington D.C., St. Louis and San Francisco.

In 1896, he was commissioned to provide stained glass windows for the Basilica of Saint Patrick in New York City’s Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan  such as “The West Window” which is a depiction of Jesus with lamb bearing the Apostles’ Creed on one side and the Virgin Mary with lamb bearing the prayer “Ave Maria” on the other.

Tiffany had a great interest in gardens and flowers, which found its way into his work. He was given commissions for several garden settings including one of  the grandest private estate gardens ever commissioned – Laurelton Hall near Oyster Bay Cove (Long Island), New York.

Tiffany was awarded the Gold Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects in 1887 

in 1892, Tiffany was awarded the Legion of Honour by France for his contributions to art. 

He was honored with a bronze medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle (1900) for his stained glass windows in Philadelphia’s Pennsylvania Station 

In 1915 he received an honorary degree from Yale University 

He also won awards for his work on New York City’s Central Park West apartment houses.

He also received a medal from Emperor Franz Joseph I and Imperial Japan’s Crown Prince Hirohito amongst other honours

Louis Comfort Tiffany Societies

Tiffany was a member of the Society for American Artists          

Louis Comfort Tiffany was among the founding members of The Society for Establishing an Art School in New York. He also served as President, Vice-President and Director from 1872 to 1904

He also belonged to the National Academy of Design, which he served as president from 1879-1894      

The National Academy of Design elected Louis Comfort Tiffany as an honorary member in 1894

He was also a founding associate, and served on the Board from 1907-1925. He helped to establish its headquarters at West 155th Street between Broadway & Seventh Avenue (now Carter G Woodson Building) when it became more difficult for artists living uptown or downtown Manhattan who can’t afford cab fare all day long just be able to come down here by train each morning  These committees were: Committee On Instruction; Executive Council Of The Institution’s Advisory Boards ; Finance And Compensation Committee For Staff Members – which he chaired until 1925;”Committee To Study Problems Related With Organization” etcetera . Between 1915 through 1919 appointed Chairman Art

The artist was also an honorary member of the Royal Canadian Academy and a founding member of the Guilds League of New York.

In 1903, Louis Comfort Tiffany was invited to become one of the founding members for The Guilds League Of National Art and Design in America- a group dedicated towards promoting not only artisanship but American handcraftsmanship as well; In 1915 he became an honorary member of The Royal Canadian Academy – which is basically Canada’s answer to Britain’s Royal Academy .

In 1878 he co-founded The Architectural League of New York with architect Stanford White to promote architecture as a fine art. The Architectural League of New York is the oldest organization in America devoted to architecture and urban planning. He became the first president of The Architectural League of New York in 1894

He was a member of the Lotos Club, which is an art club in Manhattan

He also served on many Boards that were related with either education or charity work: Committee On Instruction ; Executive Council For Advisory Board s (he chaired this until 1925)  Finance & Compensation Committee For Staff Members etcetera.

He was a member of the Lotos Club, which is an art club in Manhattan. He also belonged to The Tile Association and served as president from 1879-1894. Louis Comfort Tiffany became interested with mosaic tile work while living abroad for several years before returning home where he found many other artists who shared his interest including John La Farge (who designed stained glass windows) William Morris Hunt(a muralist), Walter Crane and Ernest Nister all whom were members at this time

Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation

In 1918, Tiffany gifted Laurelton Hall to his foundation, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. It managed a fellowship program for young artists and designers.

The foundation’s art holdings, which include over 6000 pieces of Tiffany glass and jewelry as well as paintings and other works on paper by his contemporaries (such as Robert Henri), are now internationally renowned for their quality and significance in American decorative arts history. The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation is also responsible for the preservation, interpretation, promotion, and sharing of the Foundation’s collections.

The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation has been recognized as one of America’s premier artistic institutions with an international reputation for excellence in scholarship, exhibitions, collection management and public programs. The Foundation’s mission is to preserve, interpret and promote the legacy of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Is Tiffany glass the same as Tiffany jewelry?

Generally not.

Lewis Comfort Tiffany and Tiffany Studios should not be confused with Tiffany & Co, the famous jewelry store set up by his father Charles Lewis Tiffany.

Although Louis C Tiffany was associated with Tiffany & Co, especially from the time of his fathers death, he is best known in his own right for his paintings and famous glasswork.

Tiffany & Co on the other hand was created as an upscale stationers and gift shop that evolved and became famous for its Jewelry.

Tiffany Studios is the name of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s studio, which he established in 1892. It was then that Tiffany set up a painting studio on West Twenty-Third Street and took over as director of fine glass design from John La Farge. This building also became home to one of the finest arts workshops in America.

Laurelton Hall – Louis Comfort Tiffany Estate

  1. The Laurelton Hall is a Louis Comfort Tiffany estate in Oyster Bay, New York
  2. It was built between 1894 and 1898 for Charles Oliver Iselin (1853-1932) and his wife, Laura Ten Broeck Storms Iselin (1854-1943)
  3. This Victorian style mansion has been open to the public since 1972 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  4. The Laurelton Hall features stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany himself which depict scenes from Shakespeare’s plays as well as other classical themes
  5. 5.Laurelton Hall also boasts a grand staircase with wrought iron railings designed by Stanford White, who also designed the Washington Square Arch in Manhattan

To find out more about the charming Laurelton Hall click to read my post here!

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Comfort_Tiffany

https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/tiff/hd_tiff.htm

https://www.morsemuseum.org/louis-comfort-tiffany

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Louis-Comfort-Tiffany

https://www.theartstory.org/artist/tiffany-louis-comfort/life-and-legacy/

https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/louis-comfort-tiffany-8662.php

https://www.morsemuseum.org/chronology

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laurelton_Hall

https://www.louiscomforttiffanyfoundation.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiffany_glass

https://www.morsemuseum.org/louis-comfort-tiffany/tiffany-studios

https://www.cmog.org/collection/exhibitions/tiffanys-glass-mosaics/tiffany-and-studio