Tiffany Girls

The famous Tiffany lampshades and other popular items designed and made by Tiffany took many workers to make. Using the finest materials and the popular Art Nouveau movement of the beginning of the 20th century his works consisted of art unto themselves. Many people have owned one or more Tiffany pieces.

Girls were hired to work with the fine glass pieces but the head of the design department was Clara Wolcott Driscoll, who Louis Comfort Tiffany depended on for creations. Tiffany even backed Driscoll when the male workers threatened to quit if she didn’t step down in 1903. Driscoll’s sister, Josephine, also worked at Tiffany Studios for a few years, but it was Clara Wolcott Driscoll forced out of her job in 1890 when she first married. She was allowed to return in 1892 when she became a widow but lost the job again in 1909 when she remarried. The popular belief was that married women were provided for by their husbands, so they did not need to work.

Clara was the originator of around 30 of Tiffany’s lamps, including the most recognizable of them all: the dragonfly lamp and the wisteria lamp. Her dragonfly lampshade won a prize at the 1900 world’s fair, and she was cited as the designer. Very unusual, she was paid $10,000 a year. For years she was never given credit but when historians in 2005 did some research and located letters written by Clara and Josephine to their mother about their work, it was clear who the real Tiffany designers were.

Now you will look at any family Tiffany glassworks in a new light and appreciation.

Photo: The Dragonfly Tiffany Lamp Shade was created by Clara in 1900.

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