The Modern Rebirth of Tiffany Lamps
When Tiffany Studios New York first introduced their lamps, they were considered cutting edge modern design. Louis Comfort Tiffany saw, before nearly anyone else, that electric light would not just change the way people lived, but that it would fundamentally alter people's sense of vision—their way of seeing. A brilliant colorist, Tiffany used electric light to bring his painterly vision into the modern home, and during his career, he achieved great renown for these designs, racking up award after award at watershed design events, such as the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. In fact, by 1900, forty-six museums around the world had already acquired one of Tiffany's creations for their permanent collections, and—in the fifty years we've specialized in Tiffany lamps here at Macklowe Gallery—museums worldwide have continued to add Tiffany to their design collections. So, Tiffany has always been collectible and always will be.
Make It Yours: Tiffany Studios New York “Flowering Water Lily” Table Lamp
Contemporary collectors often feel a tension between buying what others have already approved of, and wanting something completely innovative that reflects personal taste. With Tiffany lamps, collectors can have it both ways, as there are an endless variety of styles which have all been recognized as central to the Tiffany Studios New York design canon. As a result, younger collectors have been gravitating to Tiffany lamps as an antidote to the mass-produced, cookie-cutter "West Elm-ization" of what's being made today, as they look for powerful colors and very opinionated design statements—both of which Tiffany lamps provide in spades.
Make It Yours: Tiffany Studios New York "Dragonfly" Cone Chandelier
When Louis Comfort Tiffany was creating homes for Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie, and others, there was a ‘horror vacui,’ or a fear of empty spaces that led to decorating every available surface. It was not uncommon to see several Tiffany table lamps in a room, with Tiffany sconces on the walls, and often a Tiffany chandelier hanging in the middle of the room. The genius of Tiffany is that these never seemed ‘de trop’—rich and maximalist yes, but never suffocating. Fast forward 125 years, and the opposite is true. Now most people seek to live in open, airy spaces with as little furniture and adornment as possible, and while some of these spaces feel ethereal, they can also come across as empty and devoid of personality. The explosion of color and form in a Tiffany lamp is the perfect tonic for these pallid rooms.
Make It Yours: Tiffany Studios New York "Crocus" Table Lamp
Simply put, Tiffany Studios New York lamps are so collectible because they strike the perfect balance of beauty and innovation. Although the rarest lamps are very hard to come by, a few highly prestigious collections have come to market in recent years, and we have been able to purchase some real gems to share with collectors as the perfect "once in a lifetime" piece for their homes. In recent years our clients have come from as far afield as Singapore, China, Vietnam, Brazil, and Russia—these collectors share the recognition that Tiffany lamps are one of the great American contributions to the world of design, joining them with American collectors and museums worldwide. This all points to a bright future for lovers and collectors of Louis Comfort Tiffany's artistic lighting.