A Tiffany lamp is a type of lamp with a camed glass shade designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany or colleagues, and made (in originals) in his design studio. The glass in the lampshades is put together with the copper-foil technique instead of leaded, the classic technique for stained-glass windows. Tiffany lamps are considered part of the Art Nouveau movement. Considerable numbers of designs were produced from 1893 onwards.
Due to Tiffany's dominant influence on the style, the term Tiffany lamp or Tiffany-style lamp has been often used to refer to stained-glass, leaded lamps, even those not made by Tiffany & Co.
The first Tiffany lamp was exhibited in 1893, and is assumed to have been made in that year. Each lamp was handmade by skilled craftsmen, not mass- or machine-produced. Its designer was not, as had been thought for over 100 years, Louis Comfort Tiffany, but a previously unrecognized artist named Clara Driscoll, who was identified in 2007 by Rutgers professor Martin Eidelberg as being the master designer behind the most creative and valuable leaded-glass lamps produced by Tiffany Studios.
Tiffany's first business venture was an interior design firm in New York City, for which he designed stained-glass windows.
Tiffany lamps gained popularity after the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, where Tiffany displayed his lamps in a Byzantine-like chapel. His presentation caught the eye of many people, most notably Wilhelm Bode and Julius Lessing, directors of state museums in Berlin. Lessing purchased a few pieces to display in the Museum of Decorative Arts, making it the first European museum to own Tiffany glass. Though Tiffany's work was popular in Germany, other countries, such as France, were not as taken by it because of its relation to American crafts. Tiffany was only able to break into the French market by having the production of his works taken over by Siegfried Bing, with the assistance of many French artists. Without Bing’s access and contacts in Europe, Tiffany would not have had as much success selling his works to a European audience. Tiffany’s success throughout Europe was largely due to the success of his works in the German and Austro-Hungarian markets through a series of exhibitions beginning in 1897 at the International Art Exhibition in Dresden. After the partnership between Tiffany and Bing ended, interest in Tiffany products began to decline slowly in Europe.
Most of Tiffany's lamps can be grouped into one of these categories:
The irregular upper and lower border lamps carry an openwork crown edge that helps to simulate a branch, tree, or shrubbery. The Favrile category, which means handcrafted, identifies the first lamps Tiffany made with this label. His initials LCT, later replaced the Favrile stamp. The geometric category, done primarily by the male craftsman, speaks for itself. The Tiffany craftsman used geometric shapes such as triangles, squares, rectangles, and ovals to form the patterns for these lamps. Next is the transition to flowers group, which is subdivided into the flowered cone and globe lamps. All of these lamps follow a natural, or botanical, design using flowers, dragonflies, spiders with webs, butterflies, and peacock feathers. The difference within these two smaller categories is the difference in the lamp shapes, basically a cone and a globe.
Every lamp is prepared by using the copper-foil method. First, a pattern for the lamp is drawn out on a heavy piece of cardboard. Next, a number and glass color are written on the pattern piece. After the pattern is drawn and labeled, the glass is laid over it and traced. Once the pattern is traced onto the glass, the pieces can be cut and ground to their correct shape. Next, the pieces need to be cleaned so the copper foil can be applied to the edges. The copper-foil solution allows the pieces to adhere together. After the lamp has been placed accordingly and it is fully bonded, the edges are soldered together for a firm hold. Finally, after the lamp has been soldered, it is cleaned.
Art Nouveau is an international style of art, architecture, and applied art, especially the decorative arts. It was often inspired by natural forms such as the sinuous curves of plants and flowers. Other characteristics of Art Nouveau were a sense of dynamism and movement, often given by asymmetry or whiplash lines, and the use of modern materials, particularly iron, glass, ceramics and later concrete, to create unusual forms and larger open spaces. It was popular between 1890 and 1910 during the Belle Époque period, and was a reaction against the academicism, eclecticism and historicism of 19th century architecture and decorative art.
Louis Comfort Tiffany was an American artist and designer who worked in the decorative arts and is best known for his work in stained glass. He is associated with the art nouveau and aesthetic art movements.
Stained glass is coloured glass as a material or works created from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant religious buildings. Although traditionally made in flat panels and used as windows, the creations of modern stained glass artists also include three-dimensional structures and sculpture. Modern vernacular usage has often extended the term "stained glass" to include domestic lead light and objets d'art created from foil glasswork exemplified in the famous lamps of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Studio glass is the modern use of glass as an artistic medium to produce sculptures or three-dimensional artworks. The glass objects created are intended to make a sculptural or decorative statement. Though usage varies, the term is properly restricted to glass made as art in small workshops, typically with the personal involvement of the artist who designed the piece. This is in contrast to art glass, made by craftsmen in factories, and glass art, covering the whole range of glass with artistic interest made throughout history. Both art glass and studio glass originate in the 19th century, and the terms compare with studio pottery and art pottery, but in glass the term "studio glass" is mostly used for work made in the period beginning in the 1960s with a major revival in interest in artistic glassmaking.
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, a museum noted for its art nouveau collection, houses the most comprehensive collection of the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany found anywhere, a major collection of American art pottery, and fine collections of late-19th- and early-20th-century American paintings, graphics and the decorative arts. It is located in Winter Park, Florida.
Favrile glass is a type of iridescent art glass developed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. He patented this process in 1894 and first produced the glass for manufacture in 1896 in Queens, New York. It differs from most iridescent glasses because the color is ingrained in the glass itself, as well as having distinctive coloring. Tiffany won a grand prize at the 1900 Paris Exposition for his Favrile glass.
Came glasswork is the process of joining cut pieces of art glass through the use of came strips or foil into picturesque designs in a framework of soldered metal.
The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows was an exhibition that opened in February 2000 at Chicago’s Navy Pier entertainment complex. It permanently closed in October 2014. It was the first American museum dedicated solely to the art of stained glass windows.
Leadlights, leaded lights or leaded windows are decorative windows made of small sections of glass supported in lead cames. The technique of creating windows using glass and lead came to be known as came glasswork. The term 'leadlight' could be used to describe any window in which the glass is supported by lead, but traditionally, a distinction is made between stained glass windows and leadlights; the former is associated with the ornate coloured-glass windows of churches and similar buildings, while the latter is associated with the windows of vernacular architecture and defined by its simplicity.
Clara Driscoll of Tallmadge, Ohio, was head of the Tiffany Studios Women's Glass Cutting Department, in New York City. Using patterns created from the original designs, these women selected and cut the glass to be used in the famous lamps. Driscoll designed more than thirty Tiffany lamps produced by Tiffany Studios, among them the Wisteria, Dragonfly, Peony, and from all accounts her first — the Daffodil.
Tiffany glass refers to the many and varied types of glass developed and produced from 1878 to 1933 at the Tiffany Studios in New York City, by Louis Comfort Tiffany and a team of other designers, including Clara Driscoll, Agnes F. Northrop, and Frederick Wilson.
Wade Memorial Chapel is a Neoclassical chapel and receiving vault located at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. It was donated to the cemetery by Jeptha Wade II in memory of his grandfather, cemetery and Western Union co-founder Jeptha Wade. The overall design was by the newly-founded Cleveland area architectural firm of Hubbell & Benes, and was their first commission. The interior's overall design is by Louis Comfort Tiffany based on a preexisting 1893 design. The interior features two mosaics on the right and left hand walls, and a large stained glass window.
Martin P. Eidelberg is an American professor emeritus of art history at Rutgers University and an expert on ceramics and Tiffany glass. He is noted for discovering that many floral Tiffany lamp designs were not personally made by Louis Comfort Tiffany, but by an underpaid and unrecognized woman designer named Clara Driscoll.
The Haworth Art Gallery is a public art gallery located in Accrington, Lancashire, northwest England, and is the home of the largest collection in Europe of Tiffany glass from the studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany. The museum, a Tudor-style house, was originally built in 1909 to be the home of William Haworth, a manufacturer of textiles. The house was designed by Walter Brierley (1862–1926), a York architect known as "the Yorkshire Lutyens". It was bequeathed to the people of Accrington in 1920, and stands in nine acres of parkland on the south side of Accrington Town Centre.
The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is a museum located at 40 East Erie Street on the Near North Side in Chicago, Illinois, near the Magnificent Mile. The museum is housed within the historic Samuel M. Nickerson House, the 1883 residence of a wealthy Chicago banker. Although the mansion has been restored, the Driehaus Museum does not re-create the Nickerson period but rather broadly interprets and displays the prevailing design, architecture, and decorating tastes of Gilded Age America and the art nouveau era in permanent and special exhibitions.
Frederick Wilson was a British stained glass artist best known for his work with Tiffany Studios. He was a prominent designer of ecclesiastical windows in the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Alice Carmen Gouvy was a designer at Tiffany Studios and worked closely with Clara Driscoll, the head of the Women's Glass Cutting Department.
Art Nouveau glass is fine glass in the Art Nouveau style. Typically the forms are undulating, sinuous and colorful art, usually inspired by natural forms. Pieces are generally larger than drinking glasses, and decorative rather than practical, other than for use as vases and lighting fittings; there is little tableware. Prominently makers, from the 1890s onwards, are in France René Lalique, Emile Gallé and the Daum brothers, the American Louis Comfort Tiffany, Christopher Dresser in Scotland and England, and Friedrich Zitzman, Karl Koepping and Max Ritter von Spaun in Germany. Art Nouveau glass included decorative objects, vases, lamps, and stained glass windows. It was usually made by hand, and was usually colored with metal oxides while in a molten state in a furnace.
Pierre-Adrien Dalpayrat or Adrien Dalpayrat was a French potter who was a significant figure in French art pottery, especially known for his innovative coloured ceramic glazes, mostly on stoneware, but also earthenware and porcelain. After working for several makers of faience, mostly in the south, from 1889 he established his own studio in Bourg-la-Reine, not far from Paris, with his work on sale in various galleries in the capital and other cities.
Belcher mosaic windows were manufactured in the United States by the Belcher Mosaic Glass Company between 1884 and 1897. Identifiable by their unique, continuous lead matrix and use of small, glass tesserae, Belcher windows are an example of the innovation occurring in decorative glass during the nineteenth century. Also referred to as “mercury mosaics” or “metallo mosaics”, Belcher windows echo many of the larger concepts at play in American architecture during the end of the 1800s including an emphasis on the inherent nature of the material to impart design and a capitalization of developments in technology to create more affordable decorative objects. While their era of production was short lived, Belcher windows were popular and many examples still survive today, both in situ but more likely in collections.
Experts ... Martin Eidelberg are friendly rivals in Tiffany scholarship who independently discovered hundreds of the long, detailed letters Driscoll wrote to her family. "I just blurted it out and said, 'You won't believe what I found — letters from Clara Driscoll,' and she replied, in this kind of deadpan voice, 'I already know them," Eidelberg said.