Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland
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.
Audience: Teens and Adults. Anyone interested in World’s Fairs; the turn of the nineteenth century into the twentieth; Tiffany Glass; unionization history in New York; women in the workplace.
Rating: Can’t put it down!
Message Take-away: Thank goodness for the women who pioneered working in all professions, trades, and crafts.
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