Tiffany in Chicago

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Above Image, from left: Fullerton Hall at Art Institute of Chicago, Preston Bradley Hall
at Chicago Cultural Center, and Macys [earlier Marshall Field’s ] at State Street.

Tiffany in Chicago

Louis Comfort Tiffany  [1848-1933]:  One of America’s most acclaimed artists revolutionized  the art of stained glass windows, not only through his innovative glass and techniques of production, but also by bringing changes in the theme of stained glass windows, from religious compositions, to pastoral scenes, ornamental designs and also floral motifs.

Louis Comfort Tiffany’s name is associated with New York City. He was born in NYC and his most famous firms – Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. and Tiffany Studios – were both based in NY city. However, he had very close ties with Chicago. Louis C. Tiffany’s strong association with Chicago began with World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, where Byzantine inspired chapel and ecclesiastical wares were an international sensation, and won him 54 medals. Soon many commissions in Chicago followed, which compelled him to open a satellite studio in Chicago. Tiffany’s work can be seen at many places in Chicago, the most famous being: stained glass windows at the Second Presbyterian Church, glass mosaic panels at Marquette building lobby, Tiffany dome at Macy’s at State Street [earlier Marshall Field and Co.], skylight atrium at Fullerton Hall of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the largest Tiffany dome can be seen at the Chicago Cultural Center.

Some recent efforts have put the spotlight back on Tiffany’s work. The opening of Smith Museum at Navy Pier in 2000, with a gallery devoted to Tiffany. In 2001, a wonderful addition at Navy Pier with Driehaus Gallery showcasing Tiffany stained glass windows. The current exhibition at Dreihaus Museum [at 40 E Erie Street], “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection” is a must-see to enjoy the stunning work produced by Louis C. Tiffany and his studios.



Tiffany in Chicago





Louis Comfort Tiffany was born in 1848, in New York City to Harriet Olivia Avery Young and Charles Lewis Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Co. His strong association with Chicago began in 1893, when he exhibited at World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

When talking about contributions of Tiffany,  it is important to clarify two things:

[1] when we say Tiffany company, it may be any of the many companies he established. Although Louis Comfort Tiffany’s company is best known by the name of Tiffany Studios, his vast creative enterprise operated under various names through the years. These include Louis C. Tiffany & Company (1878–85); Tiffany Glass Company (1885–92); Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company (1892–1900); Allied Arts (1900–1902); and Tiffany Studios (1902–32). Additional production support was provided by Stourbridge Glass Company (1893–1902); Tiffany Furnaces, Inc. (1902–19); and Louis C. Tiffany Furnaces, Inc. (1920–28). These too were Tiffany companies.

[2] Although Louis Comfort Tiffany was himself an artist, he appointed many prominent designers in Tiffany’s companies. These include Will H. Low (1853–1932), Lydia Emmet (1866–1952), Frederick Wilson (1858–1932), Joseph Lauber (1855–1948), Jacob A. Holzer [1858-1938], Edward P. Sperry (d. 1925), Agnes Fairchild Northrop (1857–1953), Alice Carmen Gouvy (c. 1870–1924), and Clara Driscoll (1861–1944).
Reference from.. the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art.. click here..

Now coming back to Tiffany in Chicago..

Establishes Louis C. Tiffany and Co. and embarks on glass making.

Establishes Tiffany Glass & Company

Establishes Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company

Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company exhibits at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Main highlight was the Tiffany Chapel  made in Romanesque Revival style which included stained-glass windows, an elaborate chandelier, and extensive Byzantine-style mosaics. Tiffany exhibit was a huge success and earned him 54 medals and a number of important commissions followed.
Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. was commissioned by the Art Institute of Chicago to create a gallery for the painting collection of Henry Field.
Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. designs windows for Second Presbyterian Church… click here..

Louis C. Tiffany registers “Favrile” as a trademark with the US Patents Office.

Clara Driscoll hired by Tiffany around 1888. In 1892 she was appointed head of the newly-formed Women’s Glass Cutting Department [the “Tiffany Girls”], which eventually employed as many as thirty-five women. She was director, designer and crafter of the more than thirty Tiffany lamps produced by the company; among them the famous Wisteria, Dragonfly, Peony, and from all accounts her first the Daffodil.

J. A. Holzer of the Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. designs the glass mosaics in  the lobby of  the Marquette building. The mosaics are composed entirely of mother of pearl and Favrile glass… click here..

J. A. Holzer of the Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. designs Tiffany’s largest known dome at Chicago Cultural Center [at that time the Chicago Public Library]. It was Tiffany’s largest commission in nearly 50 years of production. It included Tiffany dome measuring about 38 ft. in diameter with the most extensive use of Tiffany mosaics and the earliest known examples of Tiffany’s copper-foiled chandeliers, pre-dating the company’s patent for the here..

The Art Institute of Chicago  commissions Tiffany Glass & Decorating Co. to construct a dome with a skylight and an electrified chandelier for Fullerton Hall.. click here..
The Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company decorated the Grand Army of the Republic [GAR] Memorial Hall in the Chicago Public Library [CPL] in the neo-renaissance style.

Marshall Field & Co. becomes the authorized retail agent for Tiffany in Chicago, selling a wide range of goods.

Collaborates with Edward Benette of D.H.Burnham and Company on the interior design of men’s grille in Marshall Field & Co..

Tiffany studio design the mosaic decoration for the arched and domed ceiling of the five story atrium at Marshall Field & Co. in Chicago. It contains over 1.6 million pieces of favrile iridescent glass.. click here..

Angel of Truth triptych designed by Tiffany Studios for John. G. Shedd, president of Marshall Field & Co. is installed in the Shedd Mausoleum.

Retires from Tiffany Studio

Tiffany Studios files for bankruptcy.

Louis C. Tiffany dies at his residence 27 E. Seventy-second Street. He had been ill for ten days with pneumonia. He was 84 years old.

1959: Museum of Modern Art exhibits Tiffany glass in their permanent design collection gallery.

1999: The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter park Florida, opened the reassembled chapel from the World’s Columbian Exposition [1893] to the public… click here..

2000: Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows opens at Navy Pier, with two galleries which highlight the works produced at Tiffany’s studios: “Tiffany Gallery” and “Tiffany and his contemporaries”… click here..

2001: Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass opens at Navy Pier which is dedicated to the work of Louis Comfort Tiffany.. click here..

2013-14: Driehaus Museum [at 40 E. Erie Street], has an exhibition, “Louis Comfort Tiffany: Treasures from the Driehaus Collection”.. click here..



Second Presbyterian Church [Window Gallery] click here..
Marquette Building lobby .. click here..
Chicago Cultural Center – Preston Bradley Hall.. click here..
Art Institute of Chicago – Fullerton Hall atrium.. click here..
Macy’s, then Marshall Fields: Tiffany Dome.. click here..


Tiffany on High – by Neal here..
The Chicago Public Library Building, Part 1 (1891-1897) here..
Shedding Light on the Legacy of Tiffany – by Donna Dvorak.. click here..
Discovering Clara.. click here..

Chicago Cultural here..
Chicago Cultural here
Pittsburg History.. click here..



Fabrication of the lamps began in 1885, with the majority of them being made between 1895 and 1920. It was not until 1899 that Tiffany publicly introduced the lamps for sale.

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