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Tiffany's first business venture was an interior design firm in New York, for which he designed stained glass windows.
Tiffany lamps gained popularity after the Worlds Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, where Tiffany displayed his lamps in a Byzantine-like chapel.
His presentation caught the eye of many people, most notably Wilhelm Bode and Julius Lessing, directors of state museums in Berlin.
Lessing purchased a few pieces to display in the Museum of Decorative Arts, making it the first European museum to own Tiffany glass.
Though Tiffany's work was popular in Germany, other countries, such as France, were not as taken by it because of its relation to American crafts. Tiffany was only able to break into the French market by having the production of his works taken over by Siegfried Bing, with the assistance of many French artists.
Without Bing’s access and contacts in Europe, Tiffany would not have had as much success selling his works to a European audience.
Tiffany’s success throughout Europe was largely due to the success of his works in the German and Austro-Hungarian markets through a series of exhibitions beginning in 1897 at the International Art Exhibition in Dresden.
After the partnership between Tiffany and Bing ended, interest in Tiffany products began to slowly decline in Europe.