The Dragonfly Tiffany Lamp is one of Louis Tiffany's best known works and perhaps represents him at the height of his creative genius. Even if Tiffany had spent his entire life designing and creating the lamps that he is best known for, the Dragonfly Tiffany lamp would still be a crowing jewel in his portfolio. The truly amazing thing about Louis Tiffany is that his infamous Dragonfly Tiffany lamp and all of his lamps were representative of but one facet of his wide-ranging and prolific career.
Born the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, a prominent and respected jewelry retailer, Louis Tiffany had all of the advantages. Rather than be dwarfed by his father's shadow and success, Louis Tiffany set out to leave his own indelible mark upon the world. This he did, time and time again. First as an artist where he gained prominence crafting unique and coveted mosaics. Then, he began concentrating on home dÃ©cor and made a mark in the world of interior design with clients like Samuel Clemens and the White House. He next turned to glass as a way to bring beauty into the home and world and began designing stained glass windows for churches and ultimately businesses and private citizens. Then, inspiration seemed to strike and he began using the scraps from his stained glass window creations to make his infamous lampshades.
Thus, creations such as the Dragonfly Tiffany lamp were just the culmination of a lifelong obsession with bringing beauty into the world and they began as scraps of opalescent glass! And yet, there is nothing that is second-hand about the Dragonfly Tiffany lamp or any of Tiffany's famed lampshades. Each and every lamp produced by Tiffany and his stable of designers was a unique piece of artwork. At a time when the rest of the world was racing forward with industrialization and attempting to mass produce anything and everything, Tiffany created pieces like the Dragonfly Tiffany lamp in sheer defiance of all conventions of the day.
What is truly interesting about the Dragonfly Tiffany lamp is the theme of the lamp itself. One of Tiffany's greatest pieces was inspired by, and paid homage to, a bug! Influenced by Japanese art and a lifelong fascination with horticulture, Tiffany turned to Nature for inspiration at the very moment the world was determined to conquer and defy it. Perhaps lamps like the Dragonfly Tiffany lamp were so popular because people were tired of the sterile, scientific nature of the mass produced world. If Tiffany was not tired of his world, he at the very least was determined to bring some beauty back into it and pieces like the Dragonfly Tiffany style lamp with their themes taken directly from Nature do just that.
And here we are, stepping across the threshold into a new millennium and poised to complete the work began by the industrialists in the 19th and 20th centuries. For perhaps the very same reasons that people first fell in love with Tiffany's Dragonfly Tiffany style lamp and other glass art creations, his work is once again bringing beauty into our homes and giving us a retreat from the sterile world. There are manufacturers of high quality Tiffany reproductions such as Dale Tiffany and Meyda Tiffany who use the same processes as the master himself to make one-of-a-kind pieces of art for your home, just like the Dragonfly Tiffany style lamp--and the world thanks these companies for bringing some beauty back into our homes!
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