Seven Lakes Garden Club members were treated to an informative and beautifully illustrated presentation by Ellen Burke on the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
An art educator, Burke’s topic, “Nature and the Pursuit of Beauty, The Art of Louis Comfort Tiffany,” brought the life of this amazing artist alive. Born into a wealthy family, Tiffany studied art all over the world and gained a wide base for inspiration.
He was a talented artist who first painted and was later inspired to create windows and objects with glass. His goal was to paint with glass.
We usually think of artists creating their own work, but Tiffany utilized many craftsmen in his factory. Twenty-seven of those craftsmen were women. Claiming he supervised all his work, he did not give anyone credit for their contributions. However he is recognized as a pioneer for allowing women to work and even supervise in his factory, at least until they married and were no longer employable.
Those women were influential. They convinced Tiffany to make smaller items — his table lamps — so that the middle class could also enjoy his work. The commercial aspect of that work was hugely beneficial to Tiffany financially.
Clara Driscoll was one of his girls. After initially working for Tiffany, she went on to become the mother of interior design in America. She also became a full partner with Tiffany.
Tiffany developed specific techniques and processes to create a luminescent glass that he became famous for. Although there are lots of “Tiffany” style lamps available, a true Tiffany has a trademark look and carries the theme of the lamp from the base through the shade. It is a unique trait of a Tiffany Lamp.