Tiffany and Chicago

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum
Written By The Richard H. Driehaus Museum

The Richard H. Driehaus Museum explores the art, architecture, and design of the late 19th century to the present. Its permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are presented in an immersive experience within the restored Nickerson Mansion, completed in 1883. Vibrant educational and cultural programs, as well as exhibitions, place the Gilded Age in context and illuminate the history, culture and urban fabric of Chicago. Photo by Alexander Vertikoff, 2014.


Louis Comfort Tiffany’s wide-spread prominence in the Chicago area is due to both his business acumen and his ambitious exhibition at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. In the 1880s, the Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company opened a Chicago office to take advantage of Chicago rebuilding after the Great Fire of 1871. He advertised his mosaics as the perfect fireproof decoration for an up and coming industrial city.

At the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, the Tiffany Glass & Decorating Company established their presence as a design firm in Chicago. Occupying a portion of the space reserved for his father’s company, Tiffany & Co., Louis Comfort Tiffany installed a Romanesque Revival chapel with Byzantine-inspired mosaics, an electrified chandelier, as well as a lavishly mosaiced altar and baptismal font. He won 54 awards at the Chicago World’s Fair, more than any other exhibitor.

With the success of his chapel at the World's Fair, Tiffany solidified his firm as designers for ecclesiastical, business, and domestic spaces in Chicago. Today, you will see these mosaics in the lobby of The Marquette Building, Macy’s ceiling, and the walls of the Chicago Cultural Center.

Chicago's Tiffany Trail is made possible by:

Cover photo credit: mirsasha via Flickr.

The Driehaus Museum Presents Chicago Tiffany Trail

Tiffany and Chicago

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