Passion for the Exotic: Louis Comfort Tiffany and Lockwood de Forest
This exhibition was on display from March 12, 2016 to March 26, 2017.
There were 43 objects in this exhibition but right now we can only show you 41 of them. Some objects may not be viewable because they were on loan; this might be due to issues involving image rights or simply because there is no digitized image for the objects.
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In this room built in 1902, patronage connects Lockwood de Forest (1850‒1932), its designer, with Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919), its owner-patron, and Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848‒1933), who produced the lamps and the chandelier that originally lit it. Carnegie’s exposure to these designers dates back to their joint participation in, and Carnegie’s support of, the founding of the American Fine Arts Society ten years earlier. Tiffany’s experiments in iridizing glass appealed to Carnegie who purchased a large number of Tiffany’s lamps, which suited the golden glow of de Forest’s wall stencils.
By 1902, Tiffany and de Forest had designed aesthetic interiors together and apart for over twenty years. Their professional careers first intersected in 1877 when they joined Candace Wheeler and Samuel Colman in the formation of the Society of Decorative Arts. By 1879, these designers worked collaboratively through Louis C. Tiffany and Associated Artists; concurrently de Forest joined Tiffany in a separate partnership. In 1880, de Forest sailed to India in search of exotic interior furnishings and set up a studio in Ahmedabad, where mistri (master) craftsmen produced carved teak and ornate metalwork. He regularly corresponded with Tiffany about designs to shop back for their interiors. Tiffany continued to order from de Forest long after their partnership dissolved in 1882, ultimately purchasing the Indian studio from de Forest in 1908.