Fathers of the Church Tiffany glass

Fathers of the Church

ca. 1892


This early panel, which depicts three theologians who played an important role in shaping Christianity, is one of the most significant mosaics created by Tiffany’s studios. The shimmering gold glass used for the background is a nod to an older mosaic tradition. But by combining multicolored, transparent, and three-dimensional glass, Tiffany’s studios transformed the art of mosaic into something decidedly new, modern, and distinctly American.

The first mosaic created by the newly formed women’s glass-cutting department at Tiffany’s studios, this imposing mosaic was exhibited at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. It was admired by millions of visitors, and was later installed in Tiffany’s New York showrooms as an example of his firm’s virtuosity in glass mosaic. Tiffany was especially fond of this mosaic and ultimately kept it for his private collection, displaying it at his estate in Long Island, New York.

Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company, New York (1892-1902)
Designed by Joseph Lauber (German, 1855-1948)
Exhibited at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago, IL
Glass, inlaid in plaster
Height 97 ¾ in.; Width 58 ½ in.
Not marked


Photo: The Corning Museum of Glass