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Clara and Mr. Tiffany

A Novel

Vreeland, Susan

(Book - 2011)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Clara and Mr. Tiffany
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Louis Comfort 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 Driscoll's romantic misfortunes insure that she can continue to craft the jewel-toned glass windows and lamps that catch both her eye and her imagination.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 1400068169
Branch Call Number: FICTION Vre
Characteristics: xiii, 405 p. ; 25 cm

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I found the descriptions of designing, glassmaking, cutting and assembling to be fascinating. The depiction of life at the time made me burn for the oppressed women. However, I found the writing style to be stilted and unrealistic, and some of Clara's flights of fancy were overblown. Don't expect great literature (or even more than mediocre writing) but the book is worth reading simply for illuminating (get it?) the creation of stunning American works of art and craftsmanship.

Mar 01, 2014
  • b_schweig rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I had to read this book for a class at Harper and although it was long (397) pages on in story content, I didn't feel the pressure some other books have to pull out concepts. The author beautifully crafts artistic integrity, human emotion, and duality of both worlds. I did feel like I was often at wars with the main protagonist Clara. She was constantly fawning over. L.C.Tiffany's affection for recognition, and in this way she would feel gratified. She proves herself in the end

Mar 01, 2013
  • BookEnthusiast rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A wonderful depiction of an artistic female's work life in the Tiffany studios. The level of detail is exquisite and I found myself looking up photos of all the lamps mentioned in the book. I'm astonished that Clara's contributions to Tiffany were just unearthed in 2006, and to know now that her work is coveted today by so many.

Apr 04, 2012
  • EuSei rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I did not enjoy the informal tone of the book—after all, it starts in 1892 and people did not address their employers informally. I cannot imagine Miss Driscoll saying this to Tiffany when he showed her his new plans: “Gracious! You’ve been on fire. Go slower!” And this sounded so puerile: “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,’ […].” Oh, dear… Then there is the utterly unnecessary demeaning of Tiffany as “little Napoléon”; I have seen pictures of him and, unless he was surrounded by dwarves, he did not look short. The author mentions Tiffany’s painting on the walls (Market Day and Citadel Mosque of Old Cairo) en passant, but if you ever seen them, you will know how beautifully detailed they are, how harmonious the colors. Do not recommend this book.

Jan 15, 2012
  • coastalkate rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Great book. I especially enjoyed the smaller details of life in that time period - obviously a lot of good research went into this book. The story was woven smoothly through all the history, as well.

Aug 04, 2011
  • wozebooks rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very entertaining. I've enjoyed learning more about the art of stained glass and about women at the turn of the century. Lots of detail is given, clearly lots of research has been done,and I like that. Another good book by Susan Vreeland.

Aug 02, 2011
  • missmarcy rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

adult book.story of Clara Tiffany
and her contributions to tiffany lamps, possibly introducing the glass shade. Long and detailed but good read.

May 25, 2011
  • NZaleske rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I really enjoyed this story, which is mostly true. I wasn't sure that I would but I am glad that I read it.

I read the flap of this book and almost tossed it aside, expecting 397 pages of “will she marry her lover…or will she keep her job?” drama. I’m so glad I gave it a chance anyway. The romance is a very subtle sub-plot, allowing Vreeland to focus on the—to me—most fascinating part of the story: how those gorgeous Tiffany lamps came into being.

May 23, 2011
  • GummiGirl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

There IS a lot of glassworking in this book, but I found it kind of interesting, having always loved Tiffany glass. What I liked even better was how it evoked New York City, and the lives of working people (especially women) in that particular time. I came to respect Clara and to root for her.

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app05 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52