The name Tiffany, today a unanimous synonym for luxury and good taste, owes its reputation to a fascinating and surprising history. Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) was the eldest son of Charles Louis Tiffany, founder of the world-renowned silver and jewelry firm Tiffany & Co. Refusing to take part in his father's company, Tiffany took up painting at a young age and while in his twenties traveled extensively in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. When he came back to New York, he brought with him a keen interest in stained glass and began to work on new techniques which would revolutionize the still-used Medieval technique of painting on glass. He developed Favril Glass, an opalescent glass with deep, glowing color which far surpassed, in quality and beauty, all existing techniques. He soon gained recognition as a designer and fabricator of stained glass windows and enjoyed commissions from many wealthy clients.
Tiffany went on to form his own company and to produce exquisite lamps, vases, and murals in the Art Nouveau style, flowers and trees being the predominant subjects for his designs. Though most famous for his work with glass, his talents also included interior design, rug making, ceramics, mosiacs, and jewelry. He enjoyed and long and successful career but, after a series of personal and financial misfortunes and declining popularity due in part to the First World War, died penniless and forgotten in 1933. It wasn't until the 1960s that new interest in his work emerged, and Tiffany soon became a household name denoting beauty, grace, color, and elegance.
With over 300 color plates, text by Jacob Baal-Teshuva, a documentary index, and an illustrated biography/bibliography, Tiffany: A Quest For Beauty renders homage to the man who revolutionized both the art and technique of stained glass.