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TIFFANY, Louis Comfort TIFFANY biography by Senses-ArtNouveau.com

Louis Comfort TIFFANY


American craftsman, glassware and lamp designer

Louis Comfort Tiffany possessed an artistic vision of great creativity and in 1882 he began designing glasswork of remarkable beauty in typical Art Nouveau Style. In 1902, he became art director of his father's legendary company, Tiffany & Co. in New York. He designed for the firm colored glass table lamps and lampshades, which were made in more than one edition. It was Thomas Edison who urged him to focus on electric light production after their collaboration on the design of the first Moving Picture Theater. Tiffany also designed and produced glass vases, tiles, mosaics and stained-glass-windows. In 1895, his glassware was exhibited in Samuel Bing's Gallery "L'Art Nouveau" in Paris.

Tiffany wanted to elevate decorative arts to the level of fine arts, available to a wide audience. His work was influenced by Japanese and Northern-Africa aesthetics and colors; the pieces he produced between the 1890s and 1918 were magnificent, exotic and of the highest quality. He mass-produced work of superior design with outstanding handcrafted details and he patented various types of glass, amongst which the iridescent glass called "Favrile". Tiffany glass is very popular today and continues to be much sought after by collectors. Recently, Tiffany lamps reached auction records and were sold for nearly $2 million dollars.

His unique style became a driving force behind the emergent Art Nouveau Style. His jewel-like Tiffany lamps feature decorations inspired by organic naturalistic themes, such as flowers, butterflies or dragonflies amongst foliage. The shades are made in multi-colored, iridescent glass, set in leaded framework and their beautifully crafted bronze bases, are often decorated by tree-like motifs, or by incorporated tilework or mosaic work.

Major works:

Six-dragonflies table lamp, leaded glass shade and bronze base (c.1910);
Flower blossom table lamps, leaded iridescent glass shades and bronze bases (1899-1925).

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