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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.

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Clara and Mr. Tiffany
Average rating
4.3 / 5
1 person found this helpful
January 23rd, 2014
A terrific story as well as an informative piece on this slice of history. Clearly very meticulously researched, this novel informs about women's history, immigrant life at the turn of the century, and of course the Tiffany Studio. I found the detailed descriptions of how the windows and lampshades were made to be most interesting. The care the author takes to describe how colors, textures, shapes and composition were considered is admirable. You'll never look at a Tiffany lampshade the same way again!
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