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Spotlight on Clara Driscoll

posted by LampsMakeTheRoom @ 8:02 PM
Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It was recently discovered that Clara Driscoll, not Louis Comfort Tiffany, was the designer of many of the famous Tiffany leaded lamps. Driscoll was the director of the Tiffany Studios’ Women’s Glass Cutting Department, commonly referred to as the “Tiffany Girls,” in New York City. The Tiffany Girls were in charge of choosing the colors and type of glass used in many famous glass items. Before Driscoll’s arrival, the lamps had been static and geometric.

Driscoll proved to be a creative force behind Tiffany lamps. She directed, designed and crafted more than thirty lamps produced by the company. Among her works are the famous Wisteria, Dragonfly, Peony, and the Daffodil. Driscoll had studied design school in Cleveland before enrolling at New York’s Metropolitan Museum Art School. It was there that her talents were recognized by Tiffany Studios. She worked for the company for more than 20 years, leaving in 1909 when she re-married, as married women were not allowed to work in the studios. After the studio closed in the 1930s, the records were lost, which is why Driscoll’s work was mistakenly attributed to Louis Comfort Tiffany for so long. It was through the efforts of Rutgers professor Martin Eidelberg and curator Margaret k. Hofer that Driscoll’s involvement was brought to light.

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