American art glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany

Discussion in 'Pottery, Glass, and Porcelain' started by Gregory R, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Gregory R

    Gregory R Member

    Louis Comfort Tiffany was the foremost proponent of the art glass movement in the United States, while Emile Galle and the Daum brothers were busy in France creating their own special glass. Tiffany was later joined by Martin Bach (Quezal), Frederick Carder (Steuben), and still later by Victor Durand, Jr. (Durand), A. Douglas Nash (Nash), and Conrad Vahlsing and Paul Frank (Lustre Art).

    Tiffany was born in 1848, the son of Charles L. Tiffany, founder of the world famous Tiffany & Co. in New York. Charles hoped his son would follow in his footsteps, but Louis had different ideas. Louis wanted to express his creativity. This was first evidenced in his paintings while still a teenager in the mid 1860′s. He followed this with interest in interior decoration and glass. His interest in glass was further heightened after viewing the work of Emile Galle at the Paris Exposition of 1889.
    Tiffany went into business under several successive corporate names – “Tiffany Glass Company” in 1885, “Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company” in 1892, “Tiffany Furnaces” in 1902 and finally “Louis C. Tiffany Furnaces, Inc.” in 1920. With the help of several expert chemists and glass blowers (gaffers) and after much experimentation, Tiffany was able to transform his creative genius into glass. Much of his effort was devoted to the re-creation of ancient Greek and Roman glass, thus the invention of lustred glassware “iridescent”, “Cypriote” and “Lava” varieties. Tiffany also took great inspiration from the Art Nouveau movement which was in full swing from 1890 to 1910. Many of his works also have a Japanese influence.
    Tiffany originally called his glassware “Fabrile” starting in 1892. Supposedly, this derived from the old English, meaning “hand-made”. “Fabrile” evolved into “Favrile”, which he trademarked on November 13, 1894. He used this word to apply to all of his glass, enamel and pottery.
    Louis Tiffany died in 1933, having left an astonishing legacy of the finest glass, lamps, metalware, pottery, windows and interior designs. His works are on permanent display in many of the world’s most important museums.
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