Clara and Mr. Tiffany

Clara and Mr. Tiffany

by Susan Vreeland

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Overview

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

It’s 1893, and at the Chicago World’s Fair, Louis Comfort Tiffany makes his debut with a luminous exhibition of innovative stained-glass windows that he hopes will earn him a place on the international artistic stage. But behind the scenes in his New York studio is the freethinking Clara Driscoll, head of his women’s division, who conceives of and designs nearly all of the iconic leaded-glass lamps for which Tiffany will long be remembered. Never publicly acknowledged, Clara struggles with her desire for artistic recognition and the seemingly insurmountable challenges that she faces as a professional woman. She also yearns for love and companionship, and is devoted in different ways to five men, including Tiffany, who enforces a strict policy: He does not employ married women. Ultimately, Clara must decide what makes her happiest—the professional world of her hands or the personal world of her heart.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812980189
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/20/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 129,917
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Susan Vreeland is the New York Times bestselling author of eight books, including Clara and Mr. Tiffany and Girl in Hyacinth Blue. She died in 2017.

Hometown:

San Diego, California

Date of Birth:

January 20, 1946

Place of Birth:

Racine, Wisconsin

Education:

San Diego State University

Read an Excerpt

chapter 1

9781400068166|excerpt

Vreeland: CLARA AND MR. TIFFANY

Peacock

I opened the beveled-glass door under the sign announcing Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company in ornate bronze. A new sign with a new name. Fine. I felt new too.

In the ground-floor showroom of the five-story building, stained-glass windows hung from the high ceiling, and large mosaic panels leaned against the walls. Despite the urgency of my business, I couldn’t resist taking a quick look at the free-form vases, bronze desk sets, pendulum clocks, and Art Nouveau candelabras. It was the oil lamps that bothered me. Their blown-glass shades sat above squat, bulbous bases too earthbound to be elegant. Mr. Tiffany was capable of more grace than that.

A new young floor manager tried to stop me at the marble stairway. I gave him a look that implied, I was here before you were born, and pushed his arm away as though it were a Coney Island turnstile.

On the second floor, I peered into Mr. Tiffany’s large office-studio. With a gardenia pinned to his lapel, he sat at his desk behind a row of potted orchids. In February, no less! Such were the extravagances of wealth. His formerly trim bottle brush of a mustache had sprouted into robust ram’s horns.

His own paintings hung on the walls—Citadel Mosque of Old Cairo, with tall, slender minarets, and Market Day at Tangier, with a high tower on a distant hill. A new one depicted a lily on a tall stalk lording over a much shorter one. Amusing. Little Napoléon’s self-conscious preoccupation with height was alive and well.

New tall pedestals draped with bedouin shawls flanked the fireplace. On them Oriental vases held peacock feathers. In this his design sense went awry, sacrificed to his flamboyancy. If he wanted to appear taller, the pedestals should have been shorter. Someday I would tell him.

“Excuse me.”

“Why, Miss Wolcott!”

“Mrs. Driscoll. I got married, you remember.”

“Oh, yes. You can’t be wanting employment, then. My policy hasn’t—”

I pulled back my shoulders. “As of two weeks ago, I’m a single woman again.”

He was too much the gentleman to ask questions, but he couldn’t hide the gleam in his eyes.

“I’ve come to inquire if you have work for me. That is, if my performance pleased you before.” A deliberate prompt. I didn’t want to be hired because of my need or his kindness. I wanted my talent to be the reason he wanted me back.

“Indeed” was all he offered.

What now to fill the suspended moment? His new projects. I asked. His eyebrows leapt up in symmetrical curves.

“A Byzantine chapel for the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago next year. Four times bigger than the Paris Exposition Universelle. It will be the greatest assembly of artists since the fifteenth century.” He counted on his fingers and then drummed them on the desk. “Only fifteen months away. In 1893 the name of Louis Comfort Tiffany will be on the lips of millions!” He stood up and swung open his arms wide enough to embrace the whole world.

I sensed his open palm somewhere in the air behind the small of my back, ushering me to his massive, carved mahogany exhibit table to see his sketches and watercolors. “Two round windows, The Infancy of Christ and Botticelli’s Madonna and Child, will be set off by a dozen scenic side windows.”

A huge undertaking. How richly fortunate. Surely there would be opportunity for me to shine.

Practically hopping from side to side, he made a show of slinging down one large watercolor after another onto the Persian carpet, each one a precise, fine-edged rendering of what he wanted the window to be.

“Gracious! You’ve been on fire. Go slower! Give me a chance to admire each one.”

He unrolled the largest watercolor. “An eight-foot mosaic behind the altar depicting a pair of peacocks surrounded by grapevines.”

My breath whistled between my open lips. Above the peacocks facing each other, he had transformed the standard Christian icon of a crown of thorns into a shimmering regal headdress for God the King, the thorns replaced by large glass jewels in true Tiffany style.

Astonishing how he could get mere watercolors so deep and saturated, so like lacquer that they vibrated together as surely as chords of a great church pipe organ. Even the names of the hues bore an exotic richness. The peacocks’ necks in emerald green and sapphire blue. The tail feathers in vermilion, Spanish ocher, Florida gold. The jewels in the crown mandarin yellow and peridot. The background in turquoise and cobalt. Oh, to get my hands on those gorgeous hues. To feel the coolness of the blue glass, like solid pieces of the sea. To chip the gigantic jewels for the crown so they would sparkle and send out shafts of light. To forget everything but the glass before me and make of it something resplendent.

When I could trust my voice not to show too much eagerness, I said, “I see your originality is in good health. Only you would put peacocks in a chapel.”

“Don’t you know?” he said in a spoof of incredulity. “They symbolized eternal life in Byzantine art. Their flesh was thought to be incorruptible.”

“What a lucky find for you, that convenient tidbit of information.”

He chuckled, so I was on safe ground.

He tossed down more drawings. “A marble-and-mosaic altar surrounded by mosaic columns, and a baptismal font of opaque leaded glass and mosaic.”

“This dome is the lid of the basin? In opaque leaded glass?”

He looked at it with nothing short of love, and showed me its size with outstretched arms as though he were hugging the thing.

I was struck by a tantalizing idea. “Imagine it reduced in size and made of translucent glass instead. Once you figure how to secure the pieces in a dome, that could be the method and the shape of a lampshade. A wraparound window of, say”—I looked around the room—“peacock feathers.”

He jerked his head up with a startled expression, the idea dawning on him as if it were his own.

“Lampshades in leaded glass,” he said in wonder, his blue eyes sparking.

“Just think where that could go,” I whispered.

“I am. I am!” He tugged at his beard. “It’s brilliant! An entirely new product. We’ll be the first on the market. And not just peacock featherth. Flowerth too!”

Excitement overtook his struggle to control his lisp, which surfaced only when he spoke with passion.

“But the chapel first. This will be our secret for now.”

Men harboring secrets—I seemed attracted to them unwittingly.

“Besides the window department and the mosaic department, I have six women working on the chapel windows. I’ve always thought that women have greater sensitivity to nuances of color than men do. You’ve proved that yourself, so I want more women. You’ll be in charge of them.”

“That will suit me just fine.”

Interviews

DISCOVERING CLARA

By Susan Vreeland

For a century, everyone assumed that the iconic Tiffany lamps were conceived and designed by that American master of stained glass, Louis Comfort Tiffany. Not so! It was a woman! Aha!

If it weren't for the Victorian zest for writing voluminous letters, Clara Driscoll would be only a footnote in the history of decorative arts. However, by an astonishing coincidence in 2005, three individuals unknown to each other--a distant relative of Clara, a Tiffany scholar, and an archivist at the Queens Historical Society--each aware of only one collection of Clara's letters, brought the correspondence to the attention of two art historians specializing in Tiffany, Martin Eidelberg and Nina Gray.

The result was electric. The two art historians contacted Margaret K. Hofer, Curator of Decorative Arts at the New York Historical Society which owns a huge collection of Tiffany lamps. Together they mounted an exhibition in 2007, A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls, in which Clara was hailed as "a gifted unsung artist" whose letters provided an eyewitness account of the workings of Tiffany Studios and revealed the vital role played by women. Their startling discovery rocked the art world.

While I was on tour in New York for my 2007 novel, Luncheon of the Boating Party, my agent and I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see a lavish Tiffany exhibit recreating a portion of his fabled Long Island estate, Laurelton Hall. Instantly, I fell in love with Tiffany glass. By another coincidence, her husband spotted a review of the New York Historical Society exhibition, which we saw the next day. I was intrigued, but not convinced until I read the illuminating exhibition book as well as Clara's correspondence at the library of Kent State University, Ohio, and at the Queens Historical Society.

Poring over her letters, I discovered the wry, lively, sometimes rhapsodic voice of a freethinking woman who bicycled all around Manhattan and beyond, wore a riding skirt daringly shorter than street length, adored opera, followed the politics of the city even though she couldn't vote, and threw herself into the crush of Manhattan life--the Gilded Age uptown as well as the immigrant poverty of the Lower East Side. There before me in her own handwriting was an account of her making the first leaded-glass lampshade with mosaic base. I recognized her to be a dynamic yet tender leader who developed the Women's Department which created the nature-based lamps she designed. I rubbed my hands together in glee.

When I remembered that my mother, who lovingly called colors by their flower and fruit names, and who worked briefly as a lamp designer in Chicago in the 1930s, was required to resign from another position when she became engaged, just like the Tiffany Girls were required to do, I felt a personal connection to Clara. I sought out as many of her lamps as I could find, researched Tiffany and New York's cultural history in more than fifty books and articles, and then I eagerly settled down to write the story I felt was mine to tell.

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Clara and Mr. Tiffany 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 136 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Louis Comfort Tiffany hires unmarried women as his artists to avoid the strikes that men are prone to conduct. His New York glass studio manager Clara Driscoll is a widow with a series of romantic tragedies besides her husband's death. Clara does her best to insure her talented female crew is taken care of properly. In 1893 Tiffany presents the stained glass collection at the Chicago World's Fair. He takes all the accolades failing to mention the genius he left behind in New York. Clara enjoys living amidst the Gilded Age New York artist community, but wishes her contribution as the creator of the stained glass lampshades that have made Tiffany's famous would also bring her renown. The credit for the innovation goes to Tiffany, but Clara lives with that as her employer encourages her and her girls to create even if it negatively impacts profits. She also wishes for a man who was devoted to her as she has been to Tiffany and others. This is an engaging historical that bases the storyline on the premise that Driscoll was the artistic genius not Tiffany although history and the then late nineteenth century gave all the kudos to the man. Thus the reader obtains a sense of time and place as society praises Tiffany but ignores his female workshop and its brilliant leader. Readers who enjoy something different will relish the tale of the woman behind the famous man. Harriet Klausner
BiblioChic More than 1 year ago
Our book club enjoyed this book, each of us for a slightly different reason. We all found it easy to read and quite entertaining. A few thought the amount of technical detail was a bit much, but it was easy to skim over and get back to the story. Personally, I thought the technical detail was interesting and served to better illustrate Clara's unusual status in what was a man's domain. We all found Vreeland's imagined reconstruction of characters and events to be entirely believable in the context of the actual historic evidence available. The book provided interesting, unexpected glimpses into different aspects of life then: the immigrant experience, seaside holidays, medical treatments, the gay community. Bottom line: not necessarily a must-read, but a very worthwhile book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was not only a wonderful experience of how the world of art was for women at the turn of the century but about the life and times of Tiffany and how he built a powerful business and world of beauty from glass!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book because I had read her other book "Luncheon of the Boating Party" about Renoir and loved it. Having seen a Tiffany lamp exhibit in a museum, I was very interested in reading this book when I saw that it was about the women behind the art of Tiffany. Those who appreciate art for art's sake and the beauty of Tiffany glass will find this book very entertaining.
StephanieCowell More than 1 year ago
Susan Vreeland has chosen old New York for the setting of her latest novel and a fascinating world it is from the immigrant families huddled in tenements to the wealthy such as Louis Comfort Tiffany, heir to his self-made jeweler father and determined to utterly rule his world of colored glass windows and lamps. He is an old New York autocrat, allowing women to work for him in a women's department (it would be immoral to allow them to work with the men!), paying modest wages and exacting a terrible price on their employment: they cannot marry. He will not have their loyalties divided between the glitter of his glass and their needs as wives. The book is narrated by Clara, a middle-class creative woman who has to constantly remake her choice between her need for love and her need to work in Tiffany's brilliant shadow. She is one of the bright creators of his firm and in truth he basks in her creativity, taking almost all the credit for her work. Still she fights for the rights of the immigrant women who work under her. As the book progresses, Clara grows stronger. She fights for her girls and against the oppression of the men who would happily close down her department; while Tiffany lives in unbelievable luxury, her home remains a small room in a boarding house. Many of Susan Vreeland's portrayals of the immigrant girls and their strong spirits (or sometimes broken spirits) are breathtaking in their clarity and wisdom. Particularly luminous is her portrait of an idealistic male social worker who seems to take on every burden of the poor before he turns a startlingly different way. Tiffany also falls into loneliness while Clara goes steadfastly onward: learning, creating, inspiring others and making new designs for Tiffany lamps and new pathways in her world for herself and the many people she loves. Another wonderful novel about the creative arts from this very gifted author. (I am the author of CLAUDE & CAMILLE: A NOVEL OF MONET and MARRYING MOZART.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As I read this well researched book I wished that I had visited the Tiffany Museum in Winter Park, FL, after reading Clara and Tiffany. The story lines of not one, but several, personal relationships, the process for making stained glass art objects, to labor relations and women's struggle to get and keep jobs is a great read. Visiting the museum enriches one's appreciation for the expertise necessary for making beautiful stained glass art pieces.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting book. I am well-acquainted with the Tiffany lamps and panels but had not had much information previously about Clara Driscoll except as a shadowy figure in the background who had a major impact on the lamp designs but who never got any credit. Contrary to some who found the manufacturing details tedious, I found them very interesting. My appreciation of the skill, talent, and expertise that made the lamps and panels was heightened. Also, Clara Driscoll's management skills went way beyond what was seen elsewhere in the business. Since the women weren't allowed to join the union, they had a greater opportunity to make themselves indispensable to the business. Clara Driscoll was a very liberated woman for her time. Louis C Tiffany's personality was also explored in depth.
MWgal More than 1 year ago
The book is engaging & very well written. It's fun to read about New York city as well as the art of Tiffany.Of course women played more than a pivotal role in what most believe was a man's domain. VERY enjoyable. And, the characters were intriguing as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clara and Mr. Tiffany's relationship is at the core of this novel which talks of art, creation and beauty in the making of stain glass. The reader walks away from the book not only being entertained by it, but also learning a bit about the process of making stained glass. Most importantly, the reader leaves this experience with a reaffirmation of the relationship between art and beauty, it's importance to our lives and it's role in a bit of American history.
Grams1DM More than 1 year ago
For me, this book was very interesting and I learned much about the art of being a glass designer and glass making. It was great to learn how the Tiffany Lamps came about. I liked all the characters in the book and found them entertaining; even though I wished Clara would have acknowledged by the world for all she had done for Mr. Tiffany.
HappyMomNan More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I found Clara a delightful character and appreciated her loyalty to Tiffany. Reading about the making of the Tiffany lamps and windows kept me mesmerized each time I sat down to read. For me this was one of those, "I can't wait to hear what happens next." I also enjoyed reading about the relationships Clara developed with her boarding house friends. The descriptions of New York City and the buildings help my interest. I felt like I was back at the turn of the century. Vreelands gave me a mental picture of the Flat Iron building even before she told the reader its name. So much in this book to hold the interest of the reader. Read the book and make yourself happy!!
Brittany Harrelson More than 1 year ago
Susan Vreeland is one of my favorite authors. When i met her in person, she signed and added a personal message to my copy of The Passion of Artemisia which has become a prized possession. When a new novel of hers is published, I rush out and buy a copy! However, I really struggled with this book. I found the book to be overly technical and I myself have made many stained glass pieces. I found myself bored often and found it to be quite dry. The historical aspect of the book was interesting, but I was left with many questions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it. The characters, the city, the story...an amazing read.
gl More than 1 year ago
In Clara and Mr. Tiffany, Susan Vreeland gives us a glimpse into New York City during the Gilded Age. The novel centers on Clara Driscoll a critically important designer in Louis Comfort Tiffany's Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company. Clara designed many of the mosaics and the iconic Tiffany lamps at a time when women were afforded very few employment opportunities. Her work at Tiffany's gave her a chance to focus on art and appreciate beauty and gave her some financial independence but also required that she remain single. Tiffany only hired unmarried women - and once a woman married she had to leave the company. We learn much about what it meant to live and work in America during this time. Vreeland weaves these facts in with such skill that the period and people become real. We read about the Chicago World's Fair, the use of electricity on the grounds, and the impact that Tiffany's stained glass windows had. We can picture the world through Clara's eyes, as she lives on Gramercy Park sharing a house with artists and writers. The Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, the construction of the Flatiron Building, even Stanford White are all part of the narrative. Clara and Mr. Tiffany combines art, history, American Studies and cultural history but more than anything it is a glimpse into the life of a brave, creative, and tenacious young woman. A fascinating and satisfying read - highly recommended! ISBN-10: 1400068169 - Hardcover Publisher: Random House (January 11, 2011), 432 pages. Review copy provided by the publisher.
Avid_ReaderSG More than 1 year ago
Suspensful, emotional and intriging. Although some of the historical facts may/or may not be accurate this was a page turner. I would recommend this book for a club discussion and look forward to reading other books by this author.
Smokeyglass More than 1 year ago
Although I don't know the accuracy of all the historical detail, I was thoroughly engaged by all of the detail regarding the glasswork. The romantic interest of Edwin was a little short but I didn't find that to be the main story. Excellent read!
peegeePG More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of the era that is depicted in NYC, but I am finding it difficult to wade through this book. There is much wording about the various colors that go into a stained glass piece and it is somewhat technical and , frankly, boring. Clara's interaction within her rooming house cohabitants lacks depth. I find I have to force myself to pick it up and read and that is not the enjoyable experience I wish to have when reading. I will give it a few more chapters to see if it improves.
bigorangecat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The plot was very interesting and well-written, but the too-frequent passages of explaining the technical processes of art glass-making made the book drag for me.
etxgardener on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Susan Vreesland's latest novel is about Clara Driscoll, the woman who created Louis Comfort Tiffany's incredible stained glass lamps. Clara is a recently widowed woman when she joinsthe Ladies Department of Tiffany's desigan studio. Clara is full of life & ready to embrace Mr. Tiffany's philosophy of art for art's sake, but runs afoul of both the business side of the business as well as the men's glass cutters union.Clara also finds it difficult to reconcile her devotion to work and her need for a personal love life. One romance ends disastrously, while another seemingly takes forever to be consummated,While this is a fascinating story, it is somewhat flat in Ms.. Vreeland's telling. The character of Clara never seems to be fully developed, and in her zeal to show hose much research was done into the subject of glass making, the descriptions get too detailed and the reader longs for the story to move along.Still, one is grateful to Miss Vreeland for bringing Driscoll's remarkable artistic achievement to light.
TooBusyReading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although Clara and Mr. Tiffany is historical fiction, Clara Driscoll and some of the other characters as well as the well-known Louis Comfort Tiffany were real people. Tiffany is famous; his designers, including Clara, who did the work for which he got credit, are not. Clara, as a widow, was allowed to work for Mr. Tiffany, but any of his ¿girls¿ who married had to leave the company immediately, leading to some disastrous results. The men who worked for Tiffany resented the women's presence, even though they worked in a separate division. Tiffany himself was an odd person, living in his father's shadow, kind at one moment and a self-absorbed tyrant at the next. Not a great work environment.The characters are not cookie-cutter renditions, so they had both good and bad qualities. Clara went on too much about the lack of acknowledgment for her work, but sometimes treated others the same way. I loved the information about the women's fights for equalities, would have liked to read more of it. There were quite a few characters introduced early on, and I had trouble keeping some of them straight. Still, this would have been a four-star read for me if not for one thing:For my taste, the book was much too long for the story it was telling. It would have been a fabulous 200 - 250 page book, but at more than 400 pages, there was too much detail. I initially found the details about the design and making of the glass pieces to be interesting, but it seems that I had to read about every possible variation in the ways to make glass, every inspiration for every design. Too much of a good thing is still too much.The copy I read was an advance reader's edition, provided to me by the publisher.
Kasthu on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clara and Mr. Tiffany tells the story of Clara Driscoll, the creative impetus behind the iconic Tiffany lamps. She was also the head of the women¿s division at Tiffany Studios in the 1890s and 1900s, and had a close working relationship with Louis Comfort Tiffany himself. Clara Driscoll¿s work made her more or less at the center of the Decorative Arts movement of the late 19th century, although her work was never fully acknowledged in her lifetime (even today, we call them Tiffany Lamps, not Driscoll Lamps!).The story opens in 1893, when Clara, newly widowed, rejoins Tiffany Studios. The story follows her over the next fifteen years or so. The novel is the story of how Clara struggled to balance her love life with her work life (since married women were not permitted to work for Tiffany); and, in the larger sense, this is a story of women in the workplace in the early 19th century. It seems that Clara¿s life was defined in part by her relationships with men: her first husband, two fiancées, her boarding-house friend, and, ultimately, with her boss.Susan Vreeland tells Clara Driscoll¿s fascinating story very well, interweaving plot with descriptions of the glass that she and her girls worked with every day. I¿ve always wondered how Tiffany glass was produced, and so I enjoyed the descriptions of the various techniques that were used to make it. Having read some of Susan Vreeland¿s art-based novels, it seems that she really has a talent for describing color and technique in a way that makes it interesting for the reader, without being pedantic. Clara lived at a time when drastic changes were happening in New York City, and so we get to see the incorporation of the boroughs into New York, as well as the opening of the subway system.If you ever find yourself in New York City, do stop by the display of Tiffany lamps on the top floor of the New-York Historical Society! They are well worth the visit.
mthelibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A breath of sprintime in winter to think about the Tiffany Girls. I can't wait to check out the Tiffany lamps the next time I visit an art museum that has some. Wish I had seen the exhibit that Susan Vreeland went to.
Letter4No1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clara works for Mr. Louis Comfort Tiffany at his glass studio. What starts as just jobs in elegant stained glass windows turns into her own personal renaissance when she realizes they can take the same simple principles and make lamps. While Clara fights to establisher herself, and her department of female glass workers she must struggle against the conventions of the early 1900's and the rules Mr. Tiffany sets down. The foremost of which is that married women can not work for him.Susan Vreeland does a fantastic job of bring Clara, the little know and rarely credited designer, to life. A fully formed character, Clara is eager to place, and to make a name for herself. While she craves love, she values her Independence even more. All of this makes her unique for a story set in turn of the century New York. Clara is supported by a cast of artists, accountants and friends who can be two dimensional at times, they are endearing.Clara and Mr. Tiffany is a great example of historical fiction. A New York on the verge of becoming a cultural hub is brought to life without being over worked. From boarding houses to the newly made subway, little snippets of history are tucked neatly into Vreelands pages.Overall I enjoyed this book, even if at times it felt a bit long. If you're a fan of Vreeland, or similar authors you'll find yourself a reliable read here.
dgmlrhodes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the story of Clara Driscoll, who was the real force behind the Tiffany Lamps at the turn of the century. I found this story facinating on so many levels:-The story reflects the true soul and passions of an artist. Being someone who enjoys art, I believe Susan Vreeland captured the real essence of someone who has a drive to create and is excited about art, color and creating the next time.-I also loved the story behind how women were treated during this timeframe. The story depicts the desire of a woman who wants to be recognized and gives up much for her art.-I also really enjoyed the picture of the life and times in New York at the turn of the century.A beautiful and riveting story!
shequiltz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a surprisingly interesting and enjoyable read. I had no particular interest in the Tiffany company and its decorative arts pieces before reading this book, but it was a fascinating read. Like all historical novels, it's not always clear what is fact and what is fiction, but the description of the challenges faced by the women working for the company rang true. They faced down intimidation by the men's unions and management (other than Tiffany himself) to create beautiful work of nature-based glass pieces for the company. Highly enjoyable book.