Tiffany Windows

Written by Laurie Nichol
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Not everyone, when they think of the treasures of stained glass, thinks of church windows. What comes to mind often, instead, is the Art Nouveau glasswork of Louis Comfort Tiffany. This master of nearly every decorative art made his most masterful works with the living light of colored glass.

A New Era in the Art of Glasswork

In the late 1800s, the Gilded Age, the Aesthetic Movement, and then Art Nouveau transformed people's perceptions of art. What Tiffany did for stained glass windows was to give them a treasured place in the secular world. While plain leaded windows had been a common architectural element, these fanciful designs were entirely something other.

Tiffany windows brought sumptuous scenes from history and exotic flavors from the Orient, the Middle East, and North Africa into the drawing rooms of the world. This art glass didn't strive to depict with harsh reality, but with suggestive organic forms and rich textures. Though Tiffany intended for his decorative works to blend together in unified settings, any of his individual pieces can stand alone as treasured objects of art.

If your collection includes an original Tiffany window, then you no doubt already know the pleasures of living with such a lovely piece. If you're an admirer of the designs of this master, and would like to have similar works commissioned for yourself, then you can turn to artisans experienced in creating gorgeous pieces in a similar style. People are often surprised to find that, even in this modern day, it is still possible to have new custom pieces made, according to tradition -- tomorrow's heirlooms.

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