Monday, February 24, 2014

Clara and Mr Tiffany by Susan Vreeland

I picked up Clara and Mr Tiffany because I've enjoyed Vreeland's Girl In Hyacinth Blue and I heard good things about Clara and Mr Tiffany. But I wound up having a love/hate relationship with Clara and Mr Tiffany.

Mr Tiffany employs a few women at his factory because he believes women are better at selecting colors of glass than men. Clara has worked for Mr. Tiffany on and off because Tiffany has a policy against women being married and employed. Clara loves creating beautiful works of art. First windows and mosaics and later lamp shades. So when her first husband passes, Clara comes back to Tiffany and begins to help Tiffany design lamp shades. Slowly the number of women at Tiffany increases and Clara becomes the  supervisor of the Women's department.

First I loved the detail Vreeland put into Clara and Mr Tiffany. Clara designed a lot of Tiffany glass and never received any recognition. Tiffany's name was on the building and all the glass. Clara longed to be recognized but Tiffany refused to acknowledge any other designer and society didn't recognize women working outside the home. I kept getting angry about the conditions the women had to work in and the way they were treated. Sometimes I couldn't read anymore and needed to set Clara and Mr Tiffany aside. But I enjoyed reading about Clara and how she saw life and art. For anyone interested in art especially American art in the later 1800's/early 1900's, Clara and Mr Tiffany would be a great read.

I loved the details of the art Clara made. I wish there would have been pictures included. I found this picture of the dragonfly lamp online:
You can really see the detail that Clara and the other women added to the lamp as well as the base. Others who shared their thoughts on Clara and Mr Tiffany: What Women Write, Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews, Joyfully Retired, and The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader.
Clara and Mr Tiffany satisfies the Forename or names category of the What's In A Name Challenge.


  1. I can imagine the frustration! It looks like Clara's getting a bit more recognition now, if the lamp has been revealed as hers. Well done on What's In A Name!

  2. I like the sound of this. I'm adding it to my wishlist. Thanks for the review :)

  3. Thanks for the link to my review. I really enjoyed this book, but to be honest I expect that from Susan Vreeland's books! Must be time for a new one too.


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