Laurelton Hall

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Front facade of Laurelton Hall
Living room of Laurelton Hall

Laurelton Hall was the home of noted artist Louis Comfort Tiffany, located in Laurel Hollow, Long Island, New York. The 65-room mansion on 600 acres of land, designed in the Art Nouveau mode, combined Islamic motifs with connection to nature, was completed in 1905, and housed many of Tiffany's most notable works, as well as serving as a work of art in and of itself.

On one visit to the Louis Comfort Tiffany mansion, Laurelton Hall, on June 4, 1916, Elizabeth "Bessie" Handforth Kunz wrote in the guest book: “Arabian night’s dreams vanish, at Laurelton a phantom has become reality, eternal.”[1] The mansion was on the North Shore of Long Island, and had at that time 1,500 acres of woodland and waterfront, and was the location of a residential school for artists, the Tiffany Art Foundation, of which Bessie’s father, Dr. George Frederick Kunz, was a trustee.

Laurelton Hall served as home for a school for artists run by Tiffany and his Foundation beginning in 1918. The Laurelton Hall grounds also eventually contained a separate building which housed the Tiffany Chapel originally made for the 1893 Columbian Exposition and numerous Tiffany windows, and a separate art gallery building. Laurelton Hall eventually fell into disrepair in the years after Tiffany's death, was sold by the Foundation in 1949, and burned in 1957. The estate cost about $2,000,000 to construct and landscape and was sold for $10,000.

The majority of windows and other surviving architectural pieces were salvaged by Hugh McKean and Jeannette Genius McKean of the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art and shipped to Winter Park, Florida after the fire. A major retrospective of Laurelton Hall opened at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in November, 2006.[2]

In 2010 the Morse Museum announced that it is building new galleries at a cost of $5 million. The galleries will have 6,000 square feet (560 m2) of space and display Tiffany work from Laurelton Hall.[2]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Frelinghuysen, Alice Cooney. Louis Comfort Tiffany and Laurelton Hall: An Artist’s Country Estate. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2006. Page 223; a photo of the guestbook page is on page 200.
  2. ^ a b "Resurrecting Laurelton Hall," Eve M. Kahn, August 5, 2010, New York Times.