A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls

 

Renowned Works of Tiffany Studios at Flagler Museum,

Palm Beach, Florida

1st March 2012 Palm Beach holds cherished memories for me – the incredible expanse of sea and silky white beaches, the Mediterranean-style homes, shopping on Worth Avenue, and the stunning Flagler Museum. When American industrialist Henry Flagler’s Gilded Age estate in Palm Beach was finished in 1902, the New York Herald hailed it as “more wonderful than any palace in Europe….”. Now the former private dwelling is a beautiful museum, currently showcasing “A New Light on Tiffany:Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls”. Behind the famed glass designs of Louis C. Tiffany was a small brigade of women, headed by Miss Driscoll, who was responsible for many of the masterpieces now inextricably linked to the Tiffany name. The Daffodil Shade (above) was probably designed by Clara Driscoll, circa 1900-06. The Crutch Oval base, circa 1900-06. (Courtesy of New York Historical Society, Gift of Dr. Egon Neustadt)

 

Wisteria Lamp designed by Clara Driscoll circa 1901

Clara Driscoll was a prodigious writer who wrote voluminous letters to her mother and sister – providing a first-hand account of the inner workings of Tiffany Studios. There are more than fifty lamps on display, plus historic design drawings, sheets of Tiffany glass, and the tools used to make the intricate shades. What is also pleasant to discover, is that Mr. Tiffany demonstrated steadfast support for his women workers- not very common in the 20th century. If your travels take you to America’s East Coast, this is an exhibition that will impress and delight. The Flagler Museum at any time is a joy. Through 22 April www.flaglermuseum.us JG

(Wisteria Lamp photo courtesy of New York Historical Society, Gift of Dr. Egon Neustadt)