Brooklyn Rail: ArTonic - Featured Article - April 10, 2019
By the time someone noticed it was on fire, Laurelton Hall had been burning for hours. The grand manor house, completed by Louis Comfort Tiffany in 1905 at Cold Spring Harbor in Long Island had, by that point, become a shell of its former self. The extravagant mansion had been converted from a summer home into an artists’ residency in 1918, when Tiffany established the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the first organization of its kind in the United States. Once teeming with purpose and life, Laurelton Hall was no longer in use as an artists’ retreat when the fire destroyed it in 1957; indeed the house had long been out of use at all. But within its walls there were forged early memories of a radical experiment, one that survived Louis Comfort Tiffany, his descendants, and the house itself. In 2018, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation celebrated its centennial anniversary, making it the oldest artist-endowed foundation in America, and the first to have been founded by a living artist.