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Louis Comfort Tiffany (American 1848 – 1933) Calla Lilies

Oil on canvas, 18 x 26 inches/Signed lower righ

soldLouis Comfort Tiffany (American 1848 – 1933)

Tiffany was born in New York City, the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co. He was to become the first Design Director at the family company (1902) and later its president. His early education included the Pennsylvania Military Academy (West Chester, PA) and Eagleswood Military Academy (Perth Amboy, NJ) and it was Eagleswood where Tiffany studied painting under second generation Hudson River School luminist painter, George Inness who had a home there at that time. He also studied under Samuel Coleman, another second generation Hudson River School artist, at Irvington-on-Hudson, NY and at National Academy of Design (NYC) during the latter part of the 1860s. In the late 1860s Tiffany studied under Leon Auguste Adolphe Belly in Paris, France and accompanied Coleman on a trip to Spain and North Africa. It was circa 1875 he became interested in stained-glass for which he is now best known and worked at several glass manufacturers in the late 1870s. In 1877 Tiffany, along with painters Helena de Kay Gilder Walter Shirlaw, Robert Swain Gifford, Albert Pinkham Ryder, John La Farge, Julian Alden Weir, John Henry Twachtman, Alexander Helwig Wyant John La Farge, and sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens formed the Society of American Artists in protest of what they believed were the outdated standards of the National Academy of Design. In 1879, Tiffany formed the interior design company, Louis C Tiffany and Associated Artists, with Colman, Candace Wheeler and Lockwood de Forest; however, the company ceased business in 1885, when Tiffany’s interest in art glass resulted in him establishing a glassmaking firm, Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, which was to become Tiffany Studios in 1902. The Tiffany Furnaces, built circa 1892 originally known as Stourbridge Glass Company, was located in Corona, Queens, New York. Tiffany created his famous favrile art glass in 1893 and exhibited his lamps using this glass at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. He trademarked the name in 1894. Although his primary interest was art glass, he continued to paint into the early 1900s. A skilled artist, Tiffany took as much care with color and light in his paintings as he did with his glass creations. He set up the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation for young artists and craftsmen in 1918 at his Oyster Bay home (Laurelton Hall) on Long island, NY, which was to become the repository for his art collections. The house burned in 1957. Tiffany was a member of the National Academy of Design (NYC); American Watercolor Society; New York Architectural League; Century Association; National Arts Club; New York Society of Fine Arts; New York Municipal Art Society; New York Etching Club; and Societe Nationale des Beaux Arts. He exhibited at the Exposition Universelle (1900, gold medal, applied arts); Panama Pacific Exposition (1915, San Francisco, gold medal); and the Sesquicentennial Exposition (1926, Philadelphia, PA).

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