Although Tiffany is better known for his work in the decorative arts and painting, he made significant use of photography. Like many of his contemporaries, he turned to the camera to obtain an immeadiate record of the world around him. Photographs, many taken on his numerous trips abroad, provided studies for his paintings and also served as inspiration for decorative motifs. He is known to have made many photographic studies in Sea Bright, New Jersey, in the late 1880s.
Tiffany also photographed the stained-glass windows, furniture, lamps, and artifacts made by Tiffany & Company, which were published in the firm’s brochures. He also experimented with the camera in an effort to capture the grace of animal and human movements. Like his paintings and stained glass, they reveal the artist’s interest in form and detail.
Merry A. Foresta American Photographs: The First Century (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996)