Featured Work of Art
Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, 1848–1933)
Autumn Landscape, 1923–24
Leaded Favrile glass
132 x 102 in. (335.3 x 259.1 cm)
Gift of Robert W. de Forest, 1925 (25.173a–o)
Collection Area: American Art
Subject Areas: Visual Arts, Science, U.S. History, Geography, English Language Arts
Grades: High School
Topic/Theme: Art as a Primary Resource
Students will be able to
- identify the strengths and limitations of various artistic mediums; and
- use art as a lens to explore the relationship between rural and urban life in the United States during the 1920s.
Visual Arts – Making Connections between Visual Arts and Other Disciplines
Visual Arts – Understanding the Visual Arts in Relation to History and Cultures
Visual Arts – Using Knowledge of Structures and Functions
Science – Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Science – Science and Technology
U.S. History – Era 7: The Emergence of Modern America (1890–1930)
Geography – Environment and Society
English Language Arts – Evaluating Data
English Language Arts – Applying Language Skills
English Language Arts – Communication Skills
Questions for Viewing
- Take a moment to look closely. What do you notice? What associations come to mind?
- This work was created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, an artist renowned for both his versatility and craftsmanship. Though Tiffany started out as a painter, he eventually shifted his focus to decorative arts. What aspects of this work seem to draw upon his experience as a painter?
- What possibilities might stained glass offer that paint does not?
- Beginning in 1890, Tiffany experimented with new approaches to creating stained glass, a medium that had changed little since the Middle Ages. What sets this work apart from stained glass windows created during the Middle Ages?
- This work was created in the early 1920s for the landing of a grand staircase in the home of a Boston real-estate dealer named Loren Delbert Towle. How does this image compare to the view you see out the windows of your home? Why might someone choose to install stained glass instead of a clear window?
- Though Towle came from a farming family, like many young adults of his generation, he was attracted to life in the city. What might this work suggest about Towle's feelings toward his early years spent in the lake and mountain country of Newport, New Hampshire?
Compare and contrast landscape imagery produced during two or more periods in American history. As you look, consider the relationship between figures (if any) and their surroundings, the viewpoint the artist selected, the focal point of the composition, and how the use of materials shapes your impression of the scene. Share your observations with a peer, noting evidence of change and continuity.
Activity Setting: Museum
Burns, Sarah, and John Davis. American Art to 1900: A Documentary History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.
Frelinghuysen, Alice Cooney, and Monica Obniski. "Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848–1933)." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (July 2007)
Groseclose, Barbara S. Nineteenth-Century American Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Jaffee, David. "America Comes of Age: 1876–1900." In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. (April 2007)
Albert Bierstadt (American, 1830–1902)
The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak, 1863
Oil on canvas
73 1/2 x 120 3/4 in. (186.7 x 306.7 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1907 (07.123)
Charles Sheeler (American, 1883–1965)
Oil on canvas
24 x 29 1/8 in. (61 x 74 cm)
Arthur Hoppock Hearn Fund, 1949 (49.128)
Author: Claire Moore
Affiliation: The Metropolitan Museum of Art