Louis Comfort Tiffany [1848 – 1933] Autumn Landscape The River of Life c. 1923 - 1924 • Louis married Mary Woodbridge Goddard (c1850-1884) on May 15, 1872 in Norwich, Connecticut and had the following children: • • • • Mary Woodbridge Tiffany (1873–1963) who married Graham Lusk; Charles Louis Tiffany I (1874-1874); Charles Louis Tiffany II (1878–1947); and Hilda Goddard Tiffany (1879–1908), the youngest. • After the death of his wife, he married Louise Wakeman Knox (1851–1904) on November 9, 1886. They had the following children: • Louise Comfort Tiffany (1887–1974); • Julia DeForest Tiffany (1887–1973) who married Gurdon S. Parker then married Francis Minot Weld; • Annie Olivia Tiffany (1888–1892); and • Dorothy Trimble Tiffany (1891–1979), who, as Dorothy Burlingham, later became a noted psychoanalyst and lifelong friend and partner of Anna Freud. • Many of Tiffany's descendants are active in the arts, politics, and the sciences. Only one descendant is working in glass today — Dr. Rodman Gilder Miller of Seattle, Washington. • Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of the founder of the New York City jewelry store that still bears the family name, took no interest in his father’s business. • Instead, he trained as a painter in Paris, and upon returning to New York decided to channel his talents into the decorative arts. • He became interested in glassmaking from about 1875 and worked at several glasshouses in Brooklyn between then and 1878. • In 1879, he joined with Candace Wheeler, Samuel Colman and Lockwood de Forest to form Louis Comfort Tiffany and Associated American Artists. • Tiffany's leadership and talent, as well as by his father's money and connections, led this business to thrive. “I believe there is more in it than in painting pictures,” he declared. • As American artist and designer who worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass. • He is the American artist most associated with the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic movements. Art Nouveau “New Art” 1890 - 1905 • A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly stylized, flowing curvilinear forms. • Art Nouveau is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from architecture to furniture, making art part of everyday life • In 1881 Tiffany did the interior design of the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, which still remains, • The 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, who had begun to make a name for himself in New York society for the firm's interior design work, 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, windows and adding the opalescent floor to ceiling glass screen in the Entrance Hall The Entrance Hall of the White House in 1882, showing the newly installed Tiffany glass screens. • A desire to concentrate on art in glass led to the breakup of the firm in 1885 when Tiffany chose to establish his own glassmaking firm that same year. • The first Tiffany Glass Company was incorporated December 1, 1885 and in 1902 became known as the Tiffany Studios. • By the 1890s, Tiffany was exploring the possibilities of colored glass, a medium that had remained virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages. • In the late nineteenth century, it was experiencing a revival, owing to the large number of churches under construction in prospering American cities. • 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. • This can be contrasted with the method of painting in enamels or glass paint on colorless glass that had been the dominant method of creating stained glass for hundred of years in Europe. • In 1893, Tiffany built a new factory called the Stourbridge Glass Company, later called Tiffany Glass Furnaces, which was located in Corona, Queens, New York. • In 1893, his company also introduced the term Favrile in conjunction with his first production of blown glass at his new glass factory. • Some early examples of his lamps were exhibited in the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. At the Exposition Universelle (1900) in Paris, he won a gold medal with his stained glass windows The Four Seasons Favrile Glass • Favrile glass is a type of iridescent art glass designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. • It was patented in 1894 and first produced in 1896. • It differs from most iridescent glasses because the color is ingrained in the glass itself, as well as having distinctive coloring. • Favrile glass was used in Tiffany's stainedglass windows. Favrile Glass (Handmade) Tiffany Designed • • • • • • • • Stained glass windows Lamps Glass mosaics Blown glass Ceramics Jewelry Enamels Metalwork Sermon on the Mount at Arlington Street Church in Boston Nicodemus Came to Him by Night, First Presbyterian Church, Lockport, NY The Baptism of Christ, at Brown Memorial The Annunciation to the Shepherds, at Brown Memorial Tree of Life Girl with Cherry Blossoms • Gradually, stained glass made its way into secular settings, with biblical subjects giving way to naturalistic motifs and woodland themes. • These luminous windows worked like landscape paintings to introduce a sense of natural beauty into an urban home. • Their dense designs had the added advantage of blocking views of dirty streets and back alleys that an ordinary window might reveal. Autumn Landscape • was commissioned by real estate magnate Loren Delbert Towle for his Gothic Revival mansion in Boston. • The estate's construction began in 1920 as a 35room, with formal gardens, terraces, tennis courts, and garage. • Towle died in 1924 before the mansion was completed. • In December 1925 it became home to the Newton Country Day School, and in 1990 was added to the National Register of Historic Places. • The window was meant to light the landing of a grand staircase, and, by presenting a landscape view that receded into the distance, it would offer the illusion of extending a necessarily confined space. • But even in domestic interiors, stained glass never entirely lost its religious overtones. • Tiffany divided this composition into lancet windows reminiscent of a medieval cathedral. • In keeping with the American landscape tradition, the theme of Autumn Landscape—The River of Life also invites a spiritual interpretation. • Tiffany generally reserved the traditional subject, in which a mountain stream flows through the rocks and cascades into a placid foreground pool, for memorial windows in churches and mausoleums; • Here, the season enhances the symbolism of a lifetime winding to a close, with the sun sinking low on a late autumn afternoon. • As it happened, the window did become a memorial of sorts, for the Boston client died before it could be installed in his residence. • Autumn Landscape was subsequently sold to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where, fortunately it was taken from its intended setting of a private interior for the privileged few, it became a work of art available to the public. • Tiffany’s ambition was to use glass to create the effect of oil or watercolor painting, without resorting to the application of enameled decoration. • To this end, he developed new techniques for producing and manipulating colored glass. • He eventually achieved a range of visual and tactile effects that would have been impossible with paint alone. Autumn Landscape • Was one of Tiffany’s later productions, • It makes use of nearly every method in Tiffany’s extensive repertoire: • Mottled glass for the dusky sky; • Confetti glass (with thin flakes of colored glass embedded in the surface) for the shifting colors of the autumn foliage; • Marbleized glass for the boulders; • Rippled glass for the foreground pool. Confetti Glass • Confetti glass (with thin flakes of colored glass embedded in the surface) for the shifting colors of the autumn foliage; • Marbleized glass for the boulders • Rippled glass for the foreground pool. • To deepen the color and enhance the depth of the distant mountains, Tiffany applied layers of glass to the back of the window, a technique called “plating.” • But as he would have been aware, the full effect of the window depended on the intensity of the natural light that shone through it to magically alter the landscape throughout the day and the year. On which side of a house—north, south, east, or west—might you want to install this window, and why? • The south side would receive light all year; • the west side, in the afternoon and evening; • the east, in the morning; and • the north side would never receive direct light. • As a window that resembles an elaborately framed easel painting, Autumn Landscape fulfills the aesthetic movement’s mission of introducing art into daily life. • Tiffany concerned himself with the entire range of a room’s decorative effects, weaving them into a single, harmonious design. • He found countless ways to give his art a practical purpose, • Designing everything from books to furniture; • In any medium, Tiffany said, his primary consideration had always been simply “the pursuit of beauty.” • What do you see first in this window? • Why is your attention drawn to this area? • You will probably see the sun in the center. • It is the lightest part of the window and contains the strongest contrast of light and dark. • What time of the day is depicted? • Why will this art look different at different times of the day? • Because the sun is near the horizon, it is early morning or late afternoon. • The light shining through it will be different depending on how high or low the sun is in the sky and whether it is a bright or overcast day. Essay Question 1 • Stained-glass windows are commonly seen in churches, but this window was created for a stairwell in a man’s private home. • Why would someone rather have a stained-glass window in a house than clear glass? Essay Question 2 • How would this landscape make the space of a small stairwell feel larger? Essay Question 3 • Because the man who commissioned this window died before it was installed, it seemed like a memorial for him. • Why are autumn scenes and sunsets often featured in memorials to the dead? Describe the mood of this scene.