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Clara and Mr. Tiffany

Clara and Mr. Tiffany Cover

ISBN13: 9781400068166
ISBN10: 1400068169
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Against the unforgettable backdrop of New York near the turn of the twentieth century, from the Gilded Age world of formal balls and opera to the immigrant poverty of the Lower East Side, bestselling author Susan Vreeland again breathes life into a work of art in this extraordinary novel, which brings a woman once lost in the shadows into vivid color.

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, which he hopes will honor his family business and 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. Publicly unrecognized by Tiffany, Clara conceives of and designs nearly all of the iconic leaded-glass lamps for which he is long remembered.

Clara struggles with her desire for artistic recognition and the seemingly insurmountable challenges that she faces as a professional woman, which ultimately force her to protest against the company she has worked so hard to cultivate. She also yearns for love and companionship, and is devoted in different ways to five men, including Tiffany, who enforces to a strict policy: he does not hire married women, and any who do marry while under his employ must resign immediately. Eventually, like many women, Clara must decide what makes her happiest—the professional world of her hands or the personal world of her heart.

Review:

"Vreeland (Luncheon of the Boating Party) again excavates the life behind a famous artistic creation--in this case the Tiffany leaded-glass lamp, the brainchild not of Louis Comfort Tiffany but his glass studio manager, Clara Driscoll. Tiffany staffs his studio with female artisans--a decision that protects him from strikes by the all-male union--but refuses to employ women who are married. Lucky for him, Clara's romantic misfortunes--her husband's death, the disappearance of another suitor--insure that she can continue to craft the jewel-toned glass windows and lamps that catch both her eye and her imagination. Behind the scenes she makes her mark as an artist and champion of her workers, while living in an eclectic Irving Place boarding house populated by actors and artists. Vreeland ably captures Gilded Age New York and its atmosphere--robber barons, sweatshops, colorful characters, ateliers--but her preoccupation with the larger historical story comes at the expense of Clara, whose arc, while considered and nicely told, reflects the times too closely in its standard-issue woman-behind-the-man scenario. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)

Synopsis:

The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "The Girl in Hyacinth Blue"creates a dynamic portrait of Clara Driscoll: lead designer for Louis Comfort Tiffany (famous for Tiffany lamps) and a woman conflicted between her desires for artistic recognition and romantic love.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

MountainGrandma, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by MountainGrandma)
Turns out that those stunning Tiffany lamps were actually designed and constructed by his Women's Workship. Think Camille Claudel. Think every anonymous female scientist, composer, artist or designer who has lovingly labored only to see her work appropriated by a man. Historically accurate ficton for anyone who is interested in women's history, history of New York City or the Tiffany legacy. Definitely recommended.
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mgreiner1, October 13, 2011 (view all comments by mgreiner1)
This is exactly the kind of historical fiction I love to read! A great love story (not a typical romance either), exposure to the culture of an era, and learn about the women artists of an era who don't appear in our art history texts. Wonderful!
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gaby317, April 14, 2011 (view all comments by gaby317)
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.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400068166
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Random House
Author:
Vreeland, Susan
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
General
Subject:
Biographical fiction
Subject:
Tiffany and Company - History
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Publication Date:
20110111
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9.58 x 6.5 x 1.46 in 1.5 lb

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Clara and Mr. Tiffany
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$ In Stock
Product details 432 pages Random House - English 9781400068166 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Vreeland (Luncheon of the Boating Party) again excavates the life behind a famous artistic creation--in this case the Tiffany leaded-glass lamp, the brainchild not of Louis Comfort Tiffany but his glass studio manager, Clara Driscoll. Tiffany staffs his studio with female artisans--a decision that protects him from strikes by the all-male union--but refuses to employ women who are married. Lucky for him, Clara's romantic misfortunes--her husband's death, the disappearance of another suitor--insure that she can continue to craft the jewel-toned glass windows and lamps that catch both her eye and her imagination. Behind the scenes she makes her mark as an artist and champion of her workers, while living in an eclectic Irving Place boarding house populated by actors and artists. Vreeland ably captures Gilded Age New York and its atmosphere--robber barons, sweatshops, colorful characters, ateliers--but her preoccupation with the larger historical story comes at the expense of Clara, whose arc, while considered and nicely told, reflects the times too closely in its standard-issue woman-behind-the-man scenario. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
"Synopsis" by , The "New York Times"-bestselling author of "The Girl in Hyacinth Blue"creates a dynamic portrait of Clara Driscoll: lead designer for Louis Comfort Tiffany (famous for Tiffany lamps) and a woman conflicted between her desires for artistic recognition and romantic love.
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