John D’Agostino’s Magnificent ‘Empire of Glass’

New York artist and photographer, John D’Agostino, photographs the salvaged favrile glass of Louis Comfort Tiffany, who is now acknowledged by many to be the grandfather of Abstract Expressionism.

There is an interesting story about how D’Agostino’s  family came to have a long love affair with the priceless Tiffany glass. By 1933, Tiffany’s Art Noveau works were no longer considered to be in fashion, and soon workmen were directed to clear the Tiffany Studio warehouses of tons of the unwanted favrile glass. The workmen proceeded to unceremoniously smash and then dump them into the East river. John D’Agostino’s grandfather, Vito D’Agostino, who happened to be an avid Tiffany enthusiast, managed to rescue, among other things,  a dozen boxes filled with broken shards of the priceless glass.

The glass spent over 75 years in the basements of the family’s residences, biding their time, no doubt, before being discovered by John D’Agostino.

D’Agostino reconstructs the fragmented pieces of glass into large-scaled photographs of terrific beauty and majesty. The glass stops being inorganic in nature – and the colors imprisoned within – luminesce through the foil leaf and detritus on the surface of the glass.


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