Louis Comfort Tiffany (February 18, 1848 - January 17, 1933) was an American artist most famous for his Art Nouveau pieces in stained glass. He also painted and designed jewelry and furniture.
Louis was born the son of Charles Lewis, who was the founder of the world-famous Tiffany & Co. Louis's first artistic training was as a painter, studying under George Inness. At the age of 24 he became interested in glassmaking and in 1885 he founded his own glassmaking firm.
Louis Comfort Tiffany's The tree of life stained glass
He invented a process for making opalescent glass, which he promoted while most other artists believed clear stained glass to be superior. Both points of view were motivated by the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement that had been founded by William Morris in England. One of Comfort's opponents in this argument was the rival glassmaker John La Farge (1835-1910).
In 1893 his company introduced a new technique, "Favrile", for making hand-blown vases and bowls. Much of his other work was in making glass picture windows, but his company designed a complete range of interior decorations. He used all his skill in the design of his own house, Laurelton Hall, in Oyster Bay, Long Island, completed in 1904.
Among the companies that he founded were L.C. Tiffany & Associated Artists, the Tiffany Glass Company, Tiffany Studios, Tiffany Furnaces, and the L.C. Tiffany Furnaces.
L. C. Tiffany died on January 17, 1933, and is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery Brooklyn, New York, USA.
Many examples of his work are held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This display shows stained glass, glass mosaic murals, desk lights and glass vases. Perhaps his most beautiful work and even perhaps the most beautiful in the museum is a stained glass frieze of wisteria flowers over a backdrop of hills.
Another interesting collection of "Favrile" is held in a museum in the small Northern English town of Accrington. Haworth Art Gallery (http://www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/Your_Council/Leisure_Services/HAG/Rooms/Haworth_Art_Gallery.htm)This collection was donated by a locally born man, Josepth Briggs, who left England in 1891, and who worked with L.C. Tiffany on many projects over many years, being Tiffany's works manager amongst other jobs. Briggs' personal collection was donated to the town in 1933.