(Credit: Art Nouveau Museum)
(Credit: Metropolitian Museum of Art)
This Tiffany Studios window (above) was designed as a memorial to the Frank family of New York and was originally installed in a mausoleum of a Brooklyn cemetery. The River of Life theme is prevalent in Tiffany landscapes created for memorials. The years between 1900 and 1910 were the height of ecclesiastical window production for Tiffany Studios and figural windows were in high demand. Landscape windows, such as this example, were an appropriate alternative that provided beauty and nature in such scenes. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
*Tiffany started out as a painter, but became interested in glassmaking from about 1875... In 1879 he joined with Candace Wheeler, Samuel Colman, and Lockwood de Forest to form Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated American Artists...lasting only four years. The group made designs for wallpaper, furniture, and textiles. He later opened his own glass factory in Corona, New York, determined to provide designs that improved the quality of contemporary glass. In 1881 Tiffany did the interior design of the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, which still remains... (Wikipedia)
(Credit: The Vintage News)
As we are concentrating on windows at the moment here are a couple of window panels from the house.
The Hero Image today is one also one of the window panels created by Louis Comfort Tiffany for Mark Twain’s House. (Credit for the photo: Traditional Fine Arts Organization)
But Tiffany's new firm's most notable work came in 1882 when President Chester Alan Arthur refused to move into the White House until it had been redecorated. He commissioned Tiffany...to redo the state rooms, which Arthur found charmless. Tiffany worked on the East Room, the Blue Room, the Red Room, the State Dining Room, and the Entrance Hall, refurnishing, repainting in decorative patterns, installing newly designed mantelpieces, changing to wallpaper with dense patterns, and, of course, adding Tiffany glass to gaslight fixtures and windows and adding an opalescent floor-to-ceiling glass screen in the Entrance Hall. (Wikipedia) Below is a painting reflecting the Tiffany works for the White House Red Room titled Composition in Red and Gold by Peter Waddell.
(Credit: White House Historical Association)
Much of Tiffany's additions were removed in the Roosevelt renovations of 1902, which restored the White House interiors to Federal style in keeping with its architecture.
In 1885 Tiffany established the first Tiffany Glass Company which in 1902 became known as the Tiffany Studios. In the beginning of his career, Tiffany used cheap jelly jars and bottles because they had the mineral impurities that finer glass lacked. When he was unable to convince fine glassmakers to leave the impurities in, he began making his own glass. Tiffany used opalescent glass in a variety of colors and textures to create a unique style of stained glass. He developed the "copper foil" technique, which, by edging each piece of cut glass in copper foil and soldering the whole together to create his windows and lamps, made possible a level of detail previously unknown. This can be contrasted with the method of painting in enamels or glass paint on colorless glass, and then setting the glass pieces in lead channels, that had been the dominant method of creating stained glass for hundreds of years in Europe. (Wikipedia) Many of the early churches in American are blessed to have Tiffany created windows. I really like the ones in the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Pittsburgh.
(Credit: Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation)
If you are interested in the use of stained glass in windows please check out this excellent article on Tiffany Glass.
The use of the coloured glass to create stained glass pictures was motivated by the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement and its leader William Morris in England which we covered a little in the blog some time back.
Oh my goodness! Why did I start looking at Art Nouveau? We could go on for the rest of the year on this topic. We need to look at the work of Émile Gallé whose works apparently overwhelmed Louis Tiffany at the 1889 Paris Exposition. So, tomorrow we will continue on Art Nouveau for a little sidetrack away from windows but will eventually dovetail nicely back into Art Nouveau buildings and yes, a little more of Gaudi. But also a look at some Russian Art Nouveau.
(Credit: The Morse Museum Orlando Florida)
(Credit: The Morse Museum Orlando Florida)
In 1902, Tiffany became the first Design Director for Tiffany & Co., the jewelery company founded by his father Charles Lewis Tiffany.