Paintings By Louis Comfort Tiffany and His Circle
October 20, 2009 through July 04, 2010
Louis Comfort Tiffany was a designer of extraordinary range and versatility, and yet it was his unique vision for lighting that secured his broadest popularity a hundred years ago and is largely responsible for his continued celebrity today.
Drawing from works in the Morse collection, this installation provides a view of Tiffany paintings in the context of artists who he believed in some way shared his commitment to beauty.
Tiffany’s circle of painting friends included Samuel Colman (1832–1920) and Lockwood de Forest (1850–1932), both of whom at various times played a role in one of the several firms Tiffany organized around the decorative arts. Similarities in subject and painting style are easily perceived in this installation. Elihu Vedder (1836–1923) also worked with Tiffany for a time and even designed a fountain sculpture for Tiffany’s Laurelton Hall estate.
In 1918, at Laurelton Hall, Tiffany created the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, which included a school to support and encourage young artists. Appreciating Tiffany’s aesthetic, these “fellows” painted amidst the beauty of the artist’s country gardens. Hugh F. McKean (1908–95), the first director of the Morse and husband of its founder, and Luigi Lucioni (1900–1988), a successful mid-20th century American artist, were fellows of the foundation. Lucioni also served as an art adviser to the foundation, as did Charles Hawthorne (1872–1930) and Cecilia Beaux (1855–1942).
As a group, most of these painters were especially interested in nature and the nature of beauty. The work of these and other Tiffany-inspired painters are part of the Tiffany legacy.