Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Portiere

Artist:
Louis Comfort Tiffany (American, New York 1848–1933 New York)
Maker:
Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company (American, 1892–1902)
Date:
ca. 1890–1902
Geography:
Made in New York, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on off-white wove paper mounted to a paper-faced board
Dimensions:
Overall: 21 1/4 x 13 3/8 in. (54 x 34 cm)
Design: 11 7/16 x 5 3/8 in. (29 x 13.7 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittesley Fund,1953
Accession Number:
53.679.1825
Not on view
This design for a portiere, or doorway curtain, features a deep blue ground enlivened with gold, red, and green Renaissance-style embroidery. While textiles were important elements of Tiffany's interior designs, they rarely survive intact, which makes such design drawings all the more important. Editorial remarks in graphite in the bottom margin, made by either Tiffany or the client, give a wonderful insight into how Tiffany's designs evolved from sketch to finished product: "Curtain ornament to be in center of bottom of portier and not in corner as shown."
Inscription: [recto, lower left of image, ink]: 264
[recto, in graphite]: Ornament center of bottom curtain / Call up Smith 2609 Madison
[recto, arrow drawn from border to text below image]: Curtain ornament to be in center of bottom of portiere / and not in corner as shown-- / color of appliqué [sic] to be the same as #919. / Blue curtain and material of appliqué [sic] / to be like 2016 / -- Note in coloring appliqué [sic] we desire tints to harmonize with leather border
[recto, in different hand]: Small borders to apply to back of curtain about same margin as applic---[illegible] 1 inch margin
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