Lillian Nassau

Antique dealer Lillian Nassau rekindled the public’s enthusiasm for art deco and art nouveau at a time when Tiffany lamps were being destroyed for their bronze. Nassau studied journalism at Columbia University, but gave up any thought of a career when she married in 1920. When she divorced in the late 1930s, at the height of the Depression, she supported her two children by selling jewelry door to door on Long Island. She opened her first Manhattan shop in 1945, specializing in antiques from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In 1956 she bought her first Tiffany lamp for $175 and began creating interest among buyers for art nouveau pieces ranging from Liberty silver to American decorative pottery. Her discernment not only made her shop a major hub for collectors, it also revived interest in European artists like René Lalique, Georg Jensen, Emile Gallé, Josef Hoffman, Louis Majorelle, and Carlo Bugatti. Although she retired at age eighty-three, leaving her gallery to her surviving son, she continued working as a consultant until her death.

More on Lillian Nassau

0 Comments

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Date of Birth
Birthplace

Warsaw
Poland

Date of Death
Occupations
Entrepreneur

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Lillian Nassau." (Viewed on May 19, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/nassau-lillian>.

Donate

Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now

The JWA Podcast

Can We Talk?

listen now

Get JWA in your inbox