Louis Comfort Tiffany - The Artist Who Created Magic With Glass (1848-1933)
By [http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Annette_Labedzki/252070]Annette Labedzki
Louis Comfort Tiffany, an American painter and 'Glass Designer,' was born on February 18, 1848, in the New York City, to Lewis Charles Tiffany, the creator & director of the jewelry retailers Tiffany and Company, and Harriet Olivia Avery Young. The chief innovator of glass technology, Louis Comfort Tiffany was considered a pioneer of the 'Art Nouveau' style, blended with 'Aestheticism.' Louis' glass artistry genres were stained glass windows, lamps, blown glass, glass mosaics, ceramics, enamels, jewelry, and metalwork.
The artist had his schooling from Pennsylvania Military Academy, Chester, Pennsylvania, and Eagleswood Military Academy, Perth Amboy, New Jersey. His art training in the US happened under George Inness and Samuel Colman at New York, and under Leon Bailly at Paris. In May 1872, the artist married Mary Woodbridge Goddard, at Norwich, Connecticut. The couple was blessed with four kids. In 1886, Louis was remarried to Louise Wakeman Knox, after Mary had died. Louis had four children even from this marriage. Louis Tiffany started his art career with painting, getting attracted to 'Decorative Arts,' especially glassmaking, from around 1875. During 1875-78, the artist worked at several glass houses to polish his glass artistry skills.
Excellent in his works of stained glass painting, in 1879, the artist allied with celebrated designers, including Lockwood de Forest, Candace Wheeler, and Samuel Colman, recognized as the Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated American Artists. This firm dissolved in 1885. In December of the same year, Tiffany's sole ownership glass firm, Tiffany Studios, came into existence, which breathed its last in 1932. In 1892, he founded the Stourbridge Glass Company (Tiffany Glass Furnaces) in New York, which specialized in producing stained-glass windows and glass mosaics. Louis Tiffany's brilliance can be seen in his decorative productions in glass and metal. He initiated the trademark 'Favrile' for his blown glass produced at this firm. Favrile went on to symbolize all his handmade goods of high quality. In 1902, Louis joined Tiffany & Company as Artistic Director, after his father's death.
The painter individually supervised his artisans and encouraged them to be as creative and ingenious as possible. No doubt, his diligence paid off and his work was hugely appreciated. His collections also included individual vases, bottles, & dishes in an array of different colors and techniques. His treatment with acid even gave his glass a shimmering effect of an antique evacuated piece. He also made 'lava glass,' which replicated volcanic lava. One of the most intricate and the appreciated types of glasswork was 'cameo-style glass.'
Tiffany's competent metal works deservedly won several rewards. Metal alloys were used to fashion bowls, vases, boxes, desk sets, candlesticks, and lamps. A number of polish and finishes were applied to the metalwork, to form an assortment of texture ranging from a shiny gold to a dark-green bronze look. Loudly colored enamels were also used on some pieces. The lamps had the tints of stained glass, fashioned in flower forms, geometric shapes, or tiles. Some of his most appreciated works are "Window of St. Augustine," in the Lightner Museum St. Augustine, Florida; "The Tree of Life stained glass;" "The Baptism of Christ," at Brown Memorial; "John the Baptist" at Arlington Street Church in Boston. Louis Comfort Tiffany died on January 17, 1933, and was cremated in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
Undeniably, he was one of the few Americans drawn into this elite European movement, 'Art Nouveau.' His contributions live on as one of its most stylish statements. Repeatedly inspired by life & nature, Louis Comfort Tiffany conceived his art as a solitary piece, gratis from the assiduousness of revivalism.
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