Tiffany, Louis Comfort

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Tiffany, Louis Comfort,

1848–1933, American artist, decorative designer, and art patron, b. New York City; son of Charles Lewis TiffanyTiffany, Charles Lewis
, 1812–1902, American merchant, b. Killingly, Conn. He founded the famous jewelry firm of Tiffany and Company, New York City. His improvements in styles of silverware won wide recognition, and when in 1851 he introduced the English standard of
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. He studied painting with Inness and in Paris and painted oils and watercolors in Europe and Morocco. Later he established the interior-decorating firm in New York City which came to be known as Tiffany Studios. The firm specialized in favrile glass work, characterized by iridescent colors and natural forms in the art nouveauart nouveau
, decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World War I.
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 style. This work ranged from lamps and vases to stained-glass windows and a huge glass curtain for the national theater in Mexico City. His lamps became enormously popular in the 1960s and were widely imitated. In 1919, Tiffany established the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, which now awards grants to artists. Tiffany is represented in the Metropolitan Museum by a painting, Snake Charmer at Tangiers, in the Museum of Modern Art (New York City) by several glass pieces, and most completely in the Neustadt Museum of Tiffany Art (New York City).


See E. Neustadt's The Lamps of Tiffany (1971).

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Tiffany, Louis Comfort

American designer; best known for his designs in the Art Nouveau style and developing interiors for McKim Mead and White. He also designed many fine artifacts and light fixtures in stained glass.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

Tiffany, Louis Comfort

(1848–1933) glass maker, interior designer; born in New York City. After early study with painter George Innes, he founded an interior design collaborative in 1879, which decorated in richly orientalist fashion important residences, including the Mark Twain house. But it was his exquisite art nouveau glass that brought international acclaim. His iridescent favrile glass (patented in 1894)—used in making his stained glass windows, chandeliers, tiles, and vessels in flowing organic forms—came from the Tiffany Furnaces (started in 1892) and the Tiffany Studios (1902–32). He also designed lamps, furniture, textiles, ceramics, and wallpaper, and in his later years turned to jewelry. He was an officer of Tiffany & Company, the jewelers, and he set up a foundation to support artists (1919).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.