Louis Comfort Tiffany ( American, 1848 - 1933 )


Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company ( American, 1892 - 1902 )


Tiffany Furnaces, Inc. ( American, 1902 - 1919 )

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General Description

Although Louis Comfort Tiffany began his career as a painter, he abandoned painting in favor of decorative arts in the 1870s and became one of America's most important designers at the turn of the century. While he embraced nearly every medium throughout his prolific career, he garnered the most acclaim for his glass designs, including leaded stained glass and blown glass. The glass produced at his Corona Furnace on Long Island was especially famous because of its rich colors, organic shapes, and sinuous decoration. Tiffany perfected his Favrile glassware in 1892, with objects ready for commercial sale a year later. The glowing, iridescent quality of Favrile glass was intended to mimic the same qualities found in ancient glass unearthed in archaeological digs. Tiffany noted that his glass "is distinguished by brilliant or deeply toned colors, usually iridescent like the wings of certain American butterflies, the necks of pigeons and peacocks, the wing covers of various beetles." The iridescent effect was obtained though the vapors of metallic oxides interacting with the surface of the hot glass.

Adapted from

  • Charles L. Venable, Ellen P. Denker, Katherine C. Grier, Stephen G. Harrison, China and Glass in America, 1880-1980: From Tabletop to TV Tray (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2000), 456.

  • DMA unpublished material, Label text [1983.17], transcribed 2017.