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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Vase
Date: ca. 1921
Medium: Red and blue reactive glass
Dimensions: Height: 6 1/4 inches (15.9 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Louis Comfort Tiffany through the courtesy of A. Douglas Nash
Object Number: 57.102
This is a Tiffany vase of translucent blue glass with a dark red design resembling an aquatic plant. When held against the light the jar appears crimson and yellow.

Tiffany glass was made at the Tiffany Glass Furnaces in Corona, located in Queens, New York.

Louis Comfort Tiffany was the eldest son of Charles L. Tiffany, founder of Tiffany & Company, the New York jeweler. Tiffany was trained as a painter, studying with both George Inness and Samuel Coleman in New York and Leon Bailly in Paris. He eventually turned his attention to decorative arts and began experimenting with glass-making techniques in 1875. After success with stained glass windows and mosaics, Tiffany established the Tiffany Glass Company in 1885 and began devoting production to one-of-a-kind blown glass art objects. He soon became one of America’s most prolific designers, providing furniture, wallcoverings, textiles, jewelry and glass to some of society’s most important citizens.

This vase, like most Tiffany vases, was made by blowing the glass on a blowpipe. It was made with reactive glass. Reactive glass is a type of glass developed by Tiffany & Co. that changes color when it is reheated.

Notice the designs that resemble an aquatic plant; Tiffany believed that nature was the true source of artistic inspiration. He was fascinated by the colors found in flowers and plants. He tried to incorporate nature into his designs, often as realistically as possible, showing flowers and plants in various stages of bloom.

This vase is reminiscent of the Art Nouveau style. Art Nouveau, French for “New Art,” refers to an artistic style that was developed in Europe in the 1880s, and remained enormously popular into the first decade of the 20th century. It is characterized by whiplash curves, organic imagery and sinuous lines. The name Art Nouveau came from the Paris shop of Siegfried Bing that opened in 1895, quickly popularizing the works of artists like Louis Comfort Tiffany, whose work became synonymous with (or symbolic of) the American Art Nouveau style.

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.