Louis Comfort Tiffany

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), whose name is synonymous with brillianty 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 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 collection, 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.  

About the author: Alastair Duncan was for fourteen years associated with Christie's, New York, latterly as a Consultant. After joining the auction house in 1977, he organized and catalogued a great number of sales devoted to Art Nouveau and Art Deco and nineteenth-century decorative arts.  He has acted as guest curator for exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and is now an independent consulatnt specializing in the docorative arts of the ninetheenth and twentieth centuries. 

Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. NY, in association with The National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. 1992. 116 illustrations; 53 plates in color; 157 pages.

Available for purchase through Team Antiques.