Design: Windows on A Nouveau World

A show of rare Tiffany reveals a colorist's world

In 1916 Louis Comfort Tiffany threw a party for himself to celebrate his 68th birthday. "When the savage searches for the gems from the earth or the pearls from the sea to decorate his person," Tiffany told several hundred guests at his lavish studio, "he becomes an artist in embryo." That idea informs $ nearly all Tiffany's prodigious output. As decorator, craftsman and glassmaker, he fretted over his place in history. Was he embryo or master? Artisan or artist?

The answers to those questions glow through every glass panel and glisten from every opalescent surface in "Masterworks of Louis Comfort Tiffany,"...

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