Tiffany in New London explores the life and career of artist, designer, and glassmaker Louis Comfort Tiffany through the lens of New London, focusing on the artist’s unique connections to the region.
This Gilded Age permanent collection gallery includes stained-glass windows, lamps, favrile glass vessels, silver, jewelry, paintings, archival photographs, and other objects, many of which come from Tiffany family descendants. Louis Comfort Tiffany’s parents hailed from Killingly, CT, and although they lived in New York City, the family often visited relatives in Norwich and New London. Louis’s first wife, Mary Goddard, was from Norwich, as was Louis’s brother-in-law Alfred Mitchell, who married his sister Annie. The Mitchells acquired a home in New London overlooking the Thames River, and Louis and his family were frequent visitors there in the mid-to-late 1870s and 1880s.
Tiffany in New London features three stained-glass windows from New London that anchor the gallery, evoking the contemplative memorial and ecclesiastical environment for which they were created. The local patrons who commissioned these and other objects offer insight into a key period in New London’s history, when the region flourished and was a popular seaside resort for the wealthy. The stained-glass windows also illustrate Louis Comfort Tiffany’s many technical innovations in glassmaking, as do examples of Tiffany Studios’ lamps and favrile glass. Tiffany was an artist and designer of incredible breadth who worked in a range of styles and materials. He traveled extensively and was influenced by the art and culture of the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Related Aesthetic-era and Art Nouveau fine art and decorative arts are included to show their influence and overlap with Tiffany’s innovative designs.