Skip to Content
Arts of North America

Art created in North America includes objects made by native cultures of the present-day United States and Canada; paintings and decorative arts produced during colonial times; 18th- and 19th-century masterpieces; and the work of contemporary artists and photographers.

American, 1848 - 1933
c. 1892–93
Favrile glass

21 1/2 x 8 3/8 x 8 3/8 inches

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Museum purchase with funds provided
by J. Brian and Varina Eby, by exchange

Arts of North America

By 1892, Louis Comfort Tiffany—son of the Tiffany & Co. founder—was already well known for his work as an interior decorator and designer of stained-glass windows and lamps. But in that year, he developed a glass-coloring technique that would seal his reputation as America´s greatest Art Nouveau designer. Called Favrile, a twist on an Old English word meaning handmade, it was created by exposing molten glass to metallic vapors. Rather than just sitting on the surface, the color was embedded in the glass itself giving it a beautiful, iridescent quality. Tiffany himself considered this peacock-feather vase to be an important example of his work.