Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland
Clara Driscoll is an artist. She designs panels and lamps for Louis Comfort Tiffany. Her story was all but unknown, until now. Loosely based on recent research showing that Tiffany hired unmarried women to choose the glass for his esteemed projects, and had a few female designers on staff as well, lends an authenticity to the book. (Thankfully the author explains what is truth and what is fiction in her afterward.)
This is a study in character and the time period. The reader experiences the artist’s temperament in its many forms, as well as the turbulent times of labor unions and the fight for women’s rights. It is also a story of the art. Tiffany didn’t continue his father’s work in silver and diamonds; he turned to glass and light and made his own legacy. Items of intense color which are easily recognized by people everywhere almost a hundred years later.
Word of advice: Do a search online for pictures of Tiffany lamps and glass panels before reading the book; you’ll have a greater appreciation for what these artists accomplished.
The Popular Fiction Book Discussion Group will be meeting at the Bridgewater Library on Tuesday, April 26th at 7pm to discuss Clara and Mr. Tiffany.