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Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany

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Published by Rob

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Published by: Rob on Sep 18, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany &Co. in 1837, succeeded in providing thewealthy with classic handcrafted silver jewelry. The familiar blue box and whiteribbon continues to be the staple for Tiffany & Co., enticing buyers since thebeginning, attracting luminaries such as Queen Victoria of England, and continuesto keeps with Tiffany’s vision of beautiful, enduring pieces of jewelry. Tiffany’s son, Louis Comfort Tiffany didn’t live in his father’s shadow; in fact, heprospered in the artistic realm, with stained glass artwork and mosaics. He wasborn on February 18, 1848 in New York City, and it wasn't long before he strayedfrom the family business. Tiffany began his apprenticeship under American landscape artist George Inness in1866 at the age of 18, absorbing the concepts of composition, color and technique.In his 20’s, he had the opportunity to travel Europe, the Middle East and NorthernAfrica. Fortunately, due to his family’s wealth, he was able to visit Europe morethan once between 1865 and 1872. It was during these trips, that Tiffanydeveloped a love and interest in Islamic architecture, Moorish and Romanesqueartwork and Japanese ceramics.His studies in stained glass began in 1872 at the age of 24. Upon returning toAmerica, he started experiments with iridescent glass by combining heated glass,fumes and metallic oxides. These experiments were done jointly with painter JohnLa Farge; Tiffany and La Farge studied the practice of glass making at theHeidtGlassworks in Brooklyn, New York.In 1879, Tiffany founded the Louis C. Tiffany Company,Associated Arts providedstained glass windows for private and public buildings. Fascinated by ancientRoman and Greek glass that had been recovered by archaeologists, Tiffany’s pursuitto duplicate an iridescent finish became his obsession and by 1880 he had appliedfor several patents on this type of finish. Tiffany’s design of stained glass windows became increasing popular and he cameup with an innovative idea to use the bits of glass left over to create stunning Tiffany lamps. During a job lighting the first ever movie theater, Tiffanycollaborated with Thomas Edison. Surging together with Edison, the two designedelectric lamps. This great collaboration influenced Tiffany to continue creatinglamps, and his mini stain glass designs took the nation by storm. Tiffany Lamps were either designed by Tiffany himself or by artists that were fully under hissupervision, and with superb craftsmanship.During the 1930’s and 1940’s the reputation of Tiffany Style Lamps succumbed tothe popular Art Moderneand Expressionism styles. Tiffany Lamps were thoughttooornate for the emerging décor, and it wasn’t until the 1950’s that the lampsbecame popular again. Antique collectors and museums popularized the mosaicbeauties once again, and in 1998 two lamps sold for nearly 2 million dollars apiece.

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