Louis Comfort Tiffany (Library of American Art Series)

Overview

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), whose name is synonymous with brilliantly colored stained glass, with Art Nouveau and with the Gilded Age, is one of the masters of American decorative arts. His research in the chemistry of glass enabled him to produce the famed Favrile iridescent glassware. He collaborated with the jewelers at Tiffany & Company, his father's renowned store, to create precious objets d'art, and he created unique and lavish architectural projects. This new volume in the Abrams Library of ...
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Overview

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), whose name is synonymous with brilliantly colored stained glass, with Art Nouveau and with the Gilded Age, is one of the masters of American decorative arts. His research in the chemistry of glass enabled him to produce the famed Favrile iridescent glassware. He collaborated with the jewelers at Tiffany & Company, his father's renowned store, to create precious objets d'art, and he created unique and lavish architectural projects. This new volume in the Abrams Library of American Art examines Tiffany's life and career, from his beginnings as a painter influenced by the Hudson River School to his spectacular and innovative designs for the homes of America's magnates and luminaries (including Mark Twain's house in Connecticut). Alastair Duncan, a leading authority on Tiffany, presents the artist in context. In an illuminating essay and in commentaries on the artworks, he explores the artist's background and upbringing in the world of upper-class New York society, his decision to become a painter, his fascination with the sinuous natural forms of Art Nouveau, and his relationship with the other leading artists and designers of his era. Tiffany's ecclesiastical and secular windows are examined in depth and pictured in lush color, as are many of his most elaborate and beautiful lampshades, vases, and smaller objects. Important works in private collections, rarely or never before pictured, are reproduced here. Tiffany's achievement was immense and far-reaching. He was the first to propose nonreligious subject matter for church windows, the first to mass-produce finely made glassware and leaded glass for the general public. In many ways Tiffany exemplified the bold, experimental creative style of America in the Gilded Age. With its fine reproduction and detailed commentary, this volume fully reveals Tiffany the artist. It is enhanced by a chronology, selected bibliography, and full index.
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Editorial Reviews

Ray Olson
Like Ballinger's "Frederick Remington" and Hassrick's "Charles M. Russell" before it, the newest in Abrams' wonderful monograph series the Library of American Art attends seriously to a figure once considered irredeemably popular and commercial. Louis Comfort is the Tiffany of the exquisitely colorful glass lamps, vases, mosaics, and memorial windows that are turn-of-the-century American hallmarks. He was also inarguably a tradesman-artist whose business acumen made him even wealthier than, as scion of New York retailer Charles Lewis Tiffany, he was born. So the life story Duncan tells is that of a business as much as a person. Indeed, Duncan admits that "practically nothing is known of Tiffany beyond, or apart from, his art." This makes for a sparse text without the kind of interpretation other volumes in the Library have essayed. But it also allows lots of beautifully printed pictures of the lovely articles with which Tiffany, quite apart from making a fortune, sought to bring beauty into middle-class American homes.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810938625
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/1/1992
  • Series: Library of American Art
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 9.19 (w) x 12.33 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 7
Introduction 9
I The Early Careers: Painting and Interior Design 15
II The Windows and Mosaics 51
III The Industrial Arts 81
IV The Later Years and the Pursuit of a Legacy 133
Chronology 146
Bibliography 150
Photograph Credits 152
Index 153
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