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Louis Comfort Tiffany
Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933) was a painter who became the leading designer of leaded glass windows and other glass items in the United States beginning in the 1880's and continuing through the 1920s. Tiffany Studios, founded as a stationery and fancy goods store by his father, became a manufacturer of silver, glass and jewelry after mid-century. Louis Comfort Tiffany traveled widely and brought many exotic influences to his work in designing glass. His firm became an innovator in the types of glass and methods used for assembling the windows. Their masterfully crafted works of art were commissioned for churches, public buildings, and private residences throughout the United States and in Europe.
Greensburg resident Thomas Lynch commissioned Tiffany Studios in New York to create this window for his new house being built on West Pittsburgh Street around 1905. The large copper-foiled and plated glass window was mounted in the landing of the home's grand staircase and depicts the thatched-roof farmhouse that was the birthplace of Lynch's father, Patrick, who emigrated from Ireland to Uniontown, Pennsylvania in the 1850s. The farmland, which still remains in the Lynch family, is located in Ballyduff, County Waterford, near Dungarvan, Ireland.
According to experts on Tiffany, this was not the artist's usual method of working in that most of his subjects were more universal. A period photograph confirms that Tiffany made a faithful rendering of the scene, including the simple cottage with its flowering window boxes. The surrounding landscape is more typical of Tiffany and is stylistically reminiscent of the Art Nouveau period. The artist incorporated his well-known glass making techniques of mottled, rippled, agate, and confetti glass to create the scene. The brilliance of the multi-colored opalescent glass that comprises the majestic trees, the red clover, and lush green foliage contrasts with the vast expanses of blue sky, an aspect of the window that experts agree is exemplary. In order to achieve depth and the sense of perspective in the landscape, Tiffany used as many as five plating layers of colored glass, tinted in subtle gradations, to suggest the vista of distant mountains and sky. The glass has also been acid-etched in some areas to suggest the subdued light conditions of dusk, the time of day the artist was trying to capture, and to recreate details, such as the flowers in the window boxes with having to add a copper-foiled border.