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Tiffany Floor Lamp

view Tiffany Floor Lamp digital asset number 1
Patterson, Mary Marvin Breckinridge
Tiffany Studios
Physical Description:
glass (shade material)
bronze (base material)
wood (base material)
overall: 72 in x 24 in; 182.88 cm x 60.96 cm
Object Name:
lamp, floor
Object Type:
Lighting Devices
Place Made:
United States: New York, New York
Date made:
ca 1889-1920
This lamp, from about 1900, is a compelling example of Louis Comfort Tiffany's ability to transform a design aesthetic inspired by nature into a fabulous decorative furnishing. The bamboo design is carried throughout the lamp. The dome-shaped 24" shade is constructed of green fibrillated glass with yellow mottling to create long tapering bamboo leaves and shoots against an opalescent geometric panel ground. The bamboo stalks appear to be growing against a wire trellis. The 62" integrated brown patinated bronze sectioned bamboo stem base is topped with a matching bamboo-inspired heat cap with a seedpod finial.
The lamp was a bequest from the estate of Mary Marvin Breckinridge Patterson, a generous Washington philanthropist. Following in the family tradition of supporting charitable, cultural, and preservation organizations, Mrs. Patterson was the source of numerous gifts and donations to the Smithsonian Institution and its museums and libraries. She was the daughter of Isabella Goodrich and attorney John Cabell Breckinridge. Her maternal grandfather was inventor and industrialist B. F. Goodrich. Her paternal great-grandfather was John C. Breckinridge, vice president of the United States and a military figure. She began her career as a freelance photojournalist and filmmaker. One of her first film subjects was the Frontier Nursing Service in Kentucky. During World War II, she was hired by Edward R. Murrow as a staff broadcaster for CBS in Berlin. Her photographs were published in National Geographic, Life and Harper's Bazaar. In 1940 she married American diplomat Jefferson Patterson and took on the role of diplomatic wife.
Related Publication:
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Credit Line:
Mrs. Jefferson Patterson
ID Number:
Catalog number:
Accession number:
See more items in:
Home and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source:
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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