Laurelton Hall, Louis Comfort Tiffany's extraordinary country estate in Oyster Bay, New York, represents the height of his artistic endeavors. Tiffany (1848–1933) built Laurelton between 1902 and 1905, carefully controlling every aspect of the estate's design, from the architecture and interiors of the main house to the gardens, fountains, pools, and numerous outbuildings on the grounds. He filled the house with hundreds of his best glass vases, pottery, and enamelware, installed many of his most significant leaded-glass windows, and displayed objects from his personal collections of Islamic, Asian, and Native American art. Bedazzled visitors called the estate "an Arabian Nights' dream."
Tiffany's grand country estate became an educational enterprise in 1918. When he established a residency program that brought young artists to Laurelton Hall, not to receive any formal instruction but to be inspired by the estate's setting, vistas, interiors, and works of art. The program continued after Tiffany's death, but the costs of maintaining Laurelton were such that in 1946 the contents of the house were put up for auction, and in 1949 the house and acreage were sold. In 1957 Laurelton was destroyed in a fire.
This volume, which accompanies a major exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, examines Laurelton Hall in all its aspects. The authors trace innovations and precedents in Tiffany's designs for his earlier residences and re-create in detail Laurelton's architecture and interiors, Tiffany's "museum" of his own work, and the passion he shared with many of his contemporaries for collecting Asian and Native American art. Surviving artworks and salvaged architectural components from Laurelton are illustrated in magnificent, newly commissioned color photography. The book offers an unprecedented portrait of the unique and marvelous place that was Laurelton Hall—a place where visitors stepped into and inhabited a work of art.