Author Topic: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online  (Read 62447 times)

JoanP

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #160 on: May 22, 2011, 09:58:09 PM »
The Book Club Online is  the oldest  book club on the Internet, begun in 1996, open to everyone.  We offer cordial discussions of one book a month,  24/7 and  enjoy the company of readers from all over the world.  Everyone is welcome to join in.

CLARA and MR. TIFFANY

by Susan Vreeland

"For a century, everyone assumed that the iconic Tiffany lamps were conceived and designed by that American master of stained glass, Louis Comfort Tiffany. Not so! It was a woman!" (Susan Vreeland)     Vreeland captures Gilded Age New York and its atmosphere--robber barons, sweatshops, colorful characters, ateliers from the  voluminous letters belonging to the Tiffany glass studio manager, Clara Driscoll, discovered by the author
(Amazon review ).

 
"My last lampshade was accepted and I am
having it made now. It will be quite expensive,
but I think it will be attractive and that the
general public will admire it. The one before
this was a purple and red scheme with opal
to lighten and soften it. Mr. Tiffany thought
it was very fine and Mr. Mitchell thought it
was the ugliest thing he ever saw."

                                                      (Letter from Clara Driscoll)  
 

Discussion Schedule:

May 1-8 ~ Chapters 1-12
May 9-15 ~ Chapters 13-24
May 16-22 ~ Chapters 25-37
May 23-31 ~ Chapters 38-47
and the Afterward  

Some Topics for Consideration
May 23 - 31 ~ Chapters 38 - 47


1.  Do you think that Clara makes a good case for asking the girls to march through the picket line.  Is she asking too much of those who have fathers and/or boyfriends in the union.

2.  Who do you think holds the power at Tiffany and Company?

3.  What has sent Mr. Tiffany into such dark despair that he is almost cruel?  Is his wife’s death alone responsible for such changes?

4.  What issues or themes, if any,  do you think the author has emphasized in the telling of this story?

5.  Why do you think the author included the actions of Joe Briggs?

  


JoanP

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #161 on: May 22, 2011, 10:17:28 PM »
We've been out of town for the weekend.  I took advantage of the 6 hours in the car to finish the book.  I'm looking forward to the coming week as we talk about Clara's decisions.

 I've been thinking how so many  of the chapter titles like The Nasturtium, The Dragonfly, the Feather, the Moonstone - these items that came into Clara's personal life and ended up in her artwork.  Did you notice that?  (Well, maybe not the moonstone...)  Do you think Susan Vreeland intended to show us how closely Clara's personal life was reflected in her work?  I suppose that really isn't surprising - isn't that where all inspiration comes from?  From within?


Steph

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #162 on: May 23, 2011, 05:58:48 AM »
Now we get to some joy and some sorry part of the book.. Mr. T and Clara to some extent simply cannot see that money can rule what they do. That is sad in a way..But at the same time, Bernard finally does explain his behavior and I loved how he put it.. Such decisions.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #163 on: May 23, 2011, 10:05:54 AM »
Here is a Tiffany candlestick which I think is unattractive but they were evidently popular.  So we have an idea of what the Queen Anne's Lace looks like.

http://www.arsh.com/utility/dataforms/NeighborhoodCatalogImages.cfm?Proprietor=unique@arsh.com&InventoryNumber=090629-3&B1=Order

"Tiffany favrile blown out reticulated green glass and bronze Candlestick, with Queen Anne's Lace bronze (Wild Carrot) base, signed Tiffany Studios, N.Y., measuring 20 1/4" h. x 8" w. at base A similiar example at Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.C. American Wing".

And here's  the Spider Web lamp shade by Tffany.

http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5274432

What did they price these as originally?  $350??  Look at the sale price here!  Whoa!

"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

pedln

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #164 on: May 23, 2011, 11:28:39 AM »
Annie, so sorry to hear about the sadness in your family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.  

Interesting candlebase, that one with the Queen Anne's lace.  I never knew they called it Wild Carrot.

JoanP,  what fabulous pictures of the Flatiron building.  (I think Morning Joe – MSNBC—has that on his show every morning;  I’m not always up for it.)  Whenever I hear Flat Iron it always makes me think of its architect, Daniel Burnham, and the part he played in the 1893 Exposition.

What a thrill for Clara and her friends to go so high and to pick out familiar landmarks.  Don’t we all do the same thing – when we’re in an airplane or in a tall building – we look for those things that have special meaning to us.  Our river, our house, our school.  Clara’s ears popped!  Can’t you see her writing that.

This is a link to a 1902 NYT article about the unbelievable winds that accumlated at the intersection.  Well over 65 miles an hour.  At one point, a young messenger boy, rounding the corner of the building was blown into the street and killed after being run over by an automobile.

Flatiron Building

(These old articles are in PDF format and copyable only as an image.. When I have time I want to see if there is an article about the opening.)

Quote
I do think she has the luxury of being able to make choices for herself more so than other women of her generation since she is a well employed, independent, single woman and doesn’t really have to consider anyone other than herself
.   Laura.

Well said, Laura.  Independence makes a big difference.  But now, is she in danger of losing some of that independence?  So much is happening in these last chapters.  The men, the strike, the march, Mr Tiffany – what a devastating scene with his daughters for Clara to witness.

And now Clara is making an even bigger decision, one that involves all those who work in her department.  What about that sassy little Nellie?  She has a pretty strong decision to make too.  What do you think?

You're right on the money, Steph, much as we hate to admit it.  Maybe that's why we always want to kick the kill-joy bottom liners.

Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #165 on: May 23, 2011, 12:07:53 PM »
 Pedl'n,
Thanks for your good thoughts and prayers.  Its been a hard time for all concerned even though we knew it was coming.  One is never really prepared for death.  And certainly not two in two weeks.

Please take a look at the post above yours.  I was changing something while you were posting. :)  
The prices for these lamps now amaze me.

The story of the high winds in 1903 doing so much damage is quite interesting.  Isn't NYC known for its high winds in and out and around the tall buildings?  Remember the Macy's parades when those huge balloons get out of handling possibilities and sometimes fall over on the parade watchers?

I just read the news of Joplin, MO and the devastating tornado hit there yesterday.   Hope your weather in Cape Giraurdo(sp) is not threatening.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110523/ap_on_re_us/us_midwest_storms
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

pedln

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #166 on: May 23, 2011, 01:56:49 PM »
Annie, your Christie's link -- above, I was thinking that the spider lamp wasn't so elaborate and why did it bring in $25,000.  But then I saw the peony lamp that realized $1 1/2 million.  And what, Mr. Thomas was fussing about $400.

Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #167 on: May 23, 2011, 08:17:43 PM »
And here's the Nautical Lamp:

http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?pos=4&intObjectID=5274435&sid=

And how about this "Trumpet Creeper" going at $794, 500:

http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?pos=3&intObjectID=5274444&sid=

And this, a Poppy leaded glass lamp selling for $122,500!

When you get to the lamp, click on the enlarge, and then use the arrows at the bottom to even enlarge it more.  What incredibly beautiful work was done on this.  I wonder if Harry did the leading.  Look at what appears to be some spidery lead behind the lower flowers.  That's amazing fine work!
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

Steph

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #168 on: May 24, 2011, 06:06:22 AM »
Mr. T seems to have been the type of person who only wants his own way.
The prices of real Tiffany are outrageous now.. But then most handcrafted work does tend to increase in value as more and more objects are machine made..
Clara really makes clear decisions in the end.. What a wonderful book.. I have enjoyed it so much.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

pedln

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #169 on: May 24, 2011, 09:54:11 AM »
Steph, I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.  And your having been to the Morse/Tiffany Museum so recently was a real plus -- for you and for us.  Don't be surprised if some of us come knocking at your door.

Annie, that nautical lamp must be pure Louis.  I can't visualize Clara's hand in that.  But the trumpet creeper, wow.  Pure Clara.

JoanP, you mentioned earlier a concern about lack of letter writing.  It's a concern of mine, too.  I just don't see everyday people like us keeping emails forever.  And even if we did keep them on something (disk, flash, clouds) the technology to retrieve them keeps changing. The celebrities, the powerful, anybody who's been anything, yes -- probably more than we want to know.  But for the rest of us, the undiscovered Claras will be few.

As we finish this discussion this week, please bring up any thoughts or ideas that you've had along the way.  I haven't read any other Vreelands, but those of you who have, please offer comparisons, if you like, to her other books.  What has moved you the most.

One thing that kept me wondering throughout the book was what is real and what is straight from the author.  I think she felt that she had to be true to the letters, and the setting, but I wonder about things like one of the last scenes where she is catching the train to Point Pleasant in hopes of finding Bernard.

Steph

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #170 on: May 25, 2011, 06:07:44 AM »
Letters.. Yes, I agree that people do not save emails, but do save letters sometimes. I know that when mdh died, I got so many emails, but they were so painful that I read and deleted them. I kept the cards and notes that I was sent and much later reread them. Now I wish I had not deleted so many of the emails, but at the time, the pain was overwhelming.
I loved the ending. Clara was an older bride, but seemingly a happy one.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

JoanP

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #171 on: May 25, 2011, 11:31:19 AM »
There is so much here - Susan Vreeland has the talent for taking what seems to be a clearcut story about the Tiffany glass studios and then bringing it to life.  We keep asking how much of the story comes from Clara's letters and how much is Vreeland's fiction.  I remember asking the same question when we read and discussed her Luncheon of the Boating Party - remember that, Annie?  I'm thinking that it was a combination of  Vreeland's careful research and her own imagination that produced this book.  And hasten to add, that her fiction never seems to be at odds with the verifiable facts.

Remember when Clara wanted to help Mr. T get his mind off of his loss? - She knew he loved Lotus blossoms, so she turned to the creation of the hybrid llotus lamp - a combination of blown and leaded glass.   She ran into some difficulty - an decided to ask his help.  He seemed to come alive, so did she.  They were collaborating again - just as they did in the old days.
I found a picture of what I think is this Lotus lamp...it seems to be the only one in existence - Do you think it is the original?
I don't think I ever saw Clara happier than when they worked together on this -


"In 1906 Tiffany Studios issued the Lotus lamp with a price tag of $750.00 USD.  
Today only one Lotus lamp is known to exist and on December 12 1997 at Christies, New York the world's most expensive lamp sold for $2,807,500.00 USD."  http://thelongestlistofthelongeststuffatthelongestdomainnameatlonglast.com/expensive67.html



salan

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #172 on: May 25, 2011, 11:40:35 AM »
I really enjoyed this book and everyone's discussion of it.  Thank you, leaders, for keeping us on track.  I will be gone for about a week; so I'm not sure if I will be able to check in.  If not, see you for Old Filth.
Sally

pedln

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #173 on: May 25, 2011, 12:24:37 PM »
Steph, yes, a happy older bride. And it sounds like they had a good life together.  Did they really know each other for 16 years before they got married?

Thank you for that picture, JoanP.  It sent me off searching.

Don't you wonder who bought that lamp for $2.8 million.  Do they use it?  Do they show it to people, or is it kept locked away.  It must not be in a museum, otherwise surely that would be known.  Would there now be more of those lamps if Mr. Platt and Mr. Thomas had not been so domineering?

The link below is to a 2001 Forbes article about the sales of Tiffany lamps.  And excerpted from that, should you be in the market, are some things to know before entering the auction house.

Collecting Tiffany Lamps

Quote
Quick Guide

What: Tiffany lamps

How Much: Lamps with blown glass or damascene shades start at about $8,000, while geometric-design leaded lamps start at about $10,000. By comparison, floral-design leaded lamps cost $15,000 to $20,000 at the low end.

What's Popular: The wisteria, dragonfly and peony lamps are among the most recognizable and thus the most sought-after designs. Prices for those lamps can easily range into several hundred thousand dollars.

How to Buy: As the popularity of Tiffany designs have increased, so have the number of fakes and reproductions. "Signatures are unreliable," says Kuharic. "You have to know the material and do your homework." Buy only from a trusted dealer, auction house or other reliable source.


Sally, we're so glad you could join us, and many thanks for your participation.  Enjoy your travels, and do check in with us when y ou reture.

Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #174 on: May 25, 2011, 01:22:18 PM »
JoanP
You have described our author's style of writing of historical fiction and I agree.  Especially after listening to her interview.  She had all those letters (1000's?) to get a feeling of how Clara and her friends lived and she fleshed out each one very believably. 
While I was looking at the Christie's auction of Tiffany's, I found several of these tiles that were also being auctioned off with the lampshades.  And in the middle of this one, is a picture of the new building where they were moving Tiffany's to and it enlarges pretty good. One can even see the window washer working away.

http://www.christies.com/lotfinder/lot_details.aspx?from=salesummary&intObjectID=5274416&sid=e03d06de-474e-4bf0-924e-fc24c37c4c5f
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

Steph

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #175 on: May 26, 2011, 06:00:55 AM »
Sigh.. I have decided I must put some more of Susan Vreelands books on my tbr list.. The list is starting to assume monster shape. But I did enjoy this and think I would her other stuff if they do the same thing.
Wow.. The Lotus lamp is truly lovely. Amazing the price however.
Stephanie and assorted corgi

JoanP

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #176 on: May 26, 2011, 06:57:52 AM »
Cheer up, things could be worse, Steph - than having to put yet another good book on your TBR pile. :D   I'd definitely put Vreeland's Luncheon of the Boating  Party on that list!

I just LOVE the mosaics at the entrance to the new Tiffany building, Annie!  Thank you for that.  Maybe it's been mentioned before - but is that building, with those entry mosaics still standing?  Worth a trip to NY  (with binoculars) just to see that!


Pedln, you caught that - Clara on the train to Point Pleasant - where she found Bernard.  (How did she know he was there, waiting for her? )  But the train - I'd decided that the girls must have taken the ferry across the river from NY to New Jersey and then one of several ferries tthat went to the Jersey shore.  But now we hear of a train!  
I'd been noticing the titles of the chapters.  For the most part, they were gems - or flowers given to Clara, which she then put into her work.  But the "Moon Shell" chapter - On the beach, Clara had picked up "a small moon shell that looked like a snail's shell-pearly white on the inside..."  She put it on the end of her ring finger.  Moon shells never made it into Clara's art work - Bernard took it from her and slipped it into his pocket - only gives it back to her, slips it on to her ring finger -  at the end when he asks her to marry him.   This is Susan Vreeland, I think, don't you?


Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #177 on: May 26, 2011, 10:05:14 AM »
Yes, I think you are right about the 'Moonshell'  chapter, JoanP.  But even if it is pure Vreeland, its well done. 
Steph,
"The Luncheon of the the Boat Party" is very good and we all enjoyed the book here.  I did have 'thumbs down' votes in my f2f group.  For some unknown reason, some of the ladies thought it was too 'hoity toity'!  Too artsy for them.  That didn't make the book bad!  The title "The Passion of Artemisia" got 'thumbs up' here when we were discussing 'the boating party'.  I haven't read it yet.  I seem to remember reading "The Forest Lover" back in the dark ages./color]
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

pedln

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #178 on: May 26, 2011, 11:05:31 AM »
That Christie's site, Annie, is really something.  And like JoanP, I wonder too, if that building is still standing.  45th St and Madison Avenue.  Well, next trip there.  Sure wish I'd known some of this stuff last September .


What do you think Mr. Platt and Mr. Thomas thought of the move?  Did they really need a bigger place?  Could they afford it?  I wonder if this is another case of LCT's desires, with not much thought given to financial outcomes.  More and more LCT comes across as someone who gets an idea (probably brilliant) and then plows ahead without giving thought to pros and cons.  A genius, but difficult.

Steph, S Vreeland's books are going on my to read list too.  The one about Emily Carr, the Canadian artist.  I'd never heard of her until the Women in the Arts mues?suem (in DC) had an exhibit that included her.  Artemisia also.  Didnt she do Judith Slaying Holerfenes? (That's the only one of hers I know, and that's because it was pictured in a film, a mystery.

(I'm at Panaera with my laptop which is skittering all over the place and driving me nuts, so will stop before I lose this post)

Laura

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #179 on: May 26, 2011, 11:10:51 AM »
As for Susan Vreeland’s other books, I would definitely recommend Luncheon of the Boating Party (LOTBP).  I did like Clara and Mr. Tiffany (CAMT) a bit better.  Both books brought history to life through place and character.  LOTBP is also very artsy, which I liked.  It also contained a close knit group of artsy friends, like CAMT.

My reading journal entry: 
“A very good book about the painting of the painting titled Luncheon of the Boating Party by Renoir.  A good read for those interested in France and art.”

I own Girl in Hyacinth Blue and look forward to reading it.

Laura

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #180 on: May 26, 2011, 11:33:41 AM »
There is a lot of drama in the last section of reading:  the strike, the death of Mrs. Tiffany, the question of Mr. Tiffany’s daughters attending college, Joe Briggs’ black wife, the death of George, and Clara quitting her job to marry Bernard, even when Mr. Tiffany offered to let her stay.

Oh, how practical Bernard was on page 367:  “Seeing those lamps made me realize that for the greater good, for generations hence, I shouldn’t, couldn’t, do or say anything that would put a stop to your important lifework.”  I also found this comment romantic, I think because he is showing such respect for Clara as a person with his comment.

I also noted the titles of the chapters.  They are all beautiful, natural, and even symbolic things.  I made it a point as I was reading to find specifically where in the chapter the title of the chapter was referenced and I made special mental note of what the chapter title was referring to.

What a wonderful book!

Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #181 on: May 26, 2011, 10:47:18 PM »
While I was looking for 347 & 355 Madison Ave, I was referred to this and so learned a little bit more about Mr.T.  The mansion on Madison Ave and 72nd St is here and a picture of an organ that was installed in his 5th floor studio.  Interesting!  I wonder where the organ is now.

http://www.nycago.org/Organs/NYC/html/ResTiffanyLC.html

And here's an article about the Tiffany Studios building being bought. And it was published on May 26th, 1916 in the NYTimes.  How cool is that???!!

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=FB0613F83A5B17738DDDAF0A94DD405B868DF1D3
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

Steph

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #182 on: May 27, 2011, 06:02:45 AM »
Since reading the book, on Sunday I am going back to the museum.. NOw I have a history of some of the articles and am interested in putting them together with things mentioned in the book.. Anyone want to fly or drive in and join me..
Stephanie and assorted corgi

Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #183 on: May 27, 2011, 08:18:40 AM »
Steph,
I would go with you but we have decided not to travel to Orlando at this time.  Did you see the inkwell along with the candlestick in any of the links?  Maybe they are in the Morse.  Let us know.  Here's one on auction:

http://www.arsh.com/utility/dataforms/NeighborhoodCatalogImages.cfm?Proprietor=unique@arsh.com&Showimage=yes&InventoryNumber=un080610-1



Here's a picture of Tiffany's twin daughters.  Scroll down to see.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Portrait_Louis_Comfort_Tiffany_with_his_parents_and_his_children_1888.jpg
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

JoanP

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #184 on: May 27, 2011, 10:59:35 AM »
Quote
"Oh, how practical Bernard was on page 367:  “Seeing those lamps made me realize that for the greater good, for generations hence, I shouldn’t, couldn’t, do or say anything that would put a stop to your important lifework.”  I also found this comment romantic, I think because he is showing such respect for Clara as a person with his comment." Laura
Laura - you got me thinking about Clara's life after she married Bernard.  She may have been an "old bride"  but certainly has many years ahead of her as Bernard's wife.  Don't you wonder what happened to her artistic talents?  Bernard recognizes her "important lifework"  after they married?  Surely there is more to the story.  I'm wondering if Clara continued to send those letters home - detailing for her mother and sisters what she was doing to fill her days.  I want to know more!

Also, I'd like to know more about what happened at the Tiffany Glass Company - after Clara left.  It stayed open for quite a few years after she left -

Steph - that is a tempting invitation...





Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #185 on: May 27, 2011, 11:06:09 AM »
Quote from JoanP "Laura - you got me thinking about Clara's life after she married Bernard.  She may have been an "old bride"  but certainly has many years ahead of her as Bernard's wife.  Don't you wonder what happened to her artistic talents?  Bernard recognizes her "important lifework"  after they married?  Surely there is more to the story.  I'm wondering if Clara continued to send those letters home - detailing for her mother and sisters what she was doing to fill her days.  I want to know more also!

I hadn't thought of her life after her marriage, citing the letters in your post.  But, it would seem to me that there might be ongoing correspondence between Clara and her family in Ohio, and maybe even some letters to her old friend, Alice, who returned to Ohio.  I'd like to know more also.  Can we ask the author in her blog?  Does she have a blog?  Has she seen all the letters?  Or did she stop at the end of Clara's work for Tiffany?

I went to Susan Vreeland's site and only found this page which says the letters were only written while she worked at Tiffanys. 
http://www.svreeland.com/tif-letters.html
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

JoanP

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #186 on: May 27, 2011, 11:12:55 AM »
Annie - love the pictures - those twins are adorable.  Too bad about the letters - they would have been one of the only sources where we could learn of Clara's "lifework" - Life after Tiffany's...
But surely we can find more about what happened to the Tiffany Glassworks AFTER Clara left...Did Mr. T. continue to develop  new designs - or dd they concentrate on reproducing Clara's?

I've been poking  around looking for information about the last years of the Glass Company - without much success so far.

I did find some interesting facts about Tiffany's Jewelry Stores, though.  Remember our friend - Thomas Hoving?  Former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art? We met with him in NYC back in 1998, was it?  His father, Walter was quite a character - he took over as CEO or president of Tiffany's at some point...you might enjoy reading about him -

Quote
"In New York City in 1837, Charles Lewis Tiffany and John F. Young founded Tiffany & Young, a store dedicated to selling stationery and costume jewelry. In 1845 the company began selling real jewelry and published its first mail-order catalog. During the late 1940s it added silverware, timepieces, perfumes, and other luxury items.

In 1853, Tiffany bought out his partners, who at the time also included J. L. Ellis, and the store became Tiffany & Co. Tiffany found its primary consumers in the growing number of wealthy Americans. When Tiffany died in 1902, his son Louis Comfort Tiffany joined the firm as the artistic director. Tiffany’s sales hit nearly $18 million in 1919, but they dropped to less than $3 million in 1932 because of the Great Depression. Louis Tiffany died in 1933.
http://www.nytimes.com/1989/11/28/obituaries/walter-hoving-punctilious-head-of-tiffany-for-25-years-dies-at-91.html?pagewanted=2&src=pm


Had Louis Tiffany kept the Glass Company going until he died too?


"In 1940 the company moved to its present Fifth Avenue location, and in 1955 the Tiffany heirs sold their shares to Hoving Corporation. Walter Hoving, chairman and CEO, expanded Tiffany & Co. beyond its New York City store to San Francisco in 1963 and added locations in Beverly Hills and Houston in 1964.

In 1955 he bought control of Tiffany's, which at the time seemed to many to be on the brink of going out of business. He started his regime by getting rid of everything in the store that did not meet his standards, holding a giant sale - the first in the store's history -of everything from silver matchbook covers at $6.75 to a diamond and emerald brooch marked down to $29,700.

Mr. Hoving continued to stress the great importance of design, reportedly asking job-seekers to choose between well and badly designed objects and hiring them or rejecting them on the basis of their taste."
http://smu.edu/ecenter/discourse/blackburn.htm

Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #187 on: May 27, 2011, 11:20:48 AM »
JoanP
I was looking around too and found a reference to Tiffany Furnaces and here's a piece from a bio:

"Louis Comfort Tiffany was a visionary of Art Nouveau design. His items are prized and treasured both here in America and all over the world. His career spanned over 50 years including tenure with L.C. Tiffany & Associated Artists, the Tiffany Glass Company, Tiffany Studios, Tiffany Furnaces and the L.C. Tiffany Furnaces. He died in New York on January 17, 1933 at the age of 85."
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

pedln

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #188 on: May 27, 2011, 11:23:05 AM »
Steph, do take pictures if you can.  Maybe we can post some here.  I'd love to see the new Daffodil Terrace that has been mentioned somewhere.  I wish I were going with you.  Enjoy.

Laura, you are so right – there’s so much drama in that last section.  It seemed to go at a much faster pace than the rest of the book.  Did you ever wonder what year you were in?

I  have found that the visuals, the links that everyone has been sharing have been almost a necessity with this book.  The book stands alone, of course, but we all know what they say about pictures.  Would the reading have been the same without us seeing pictures of the works?   Did you have similar feelings when reading Vreeland’s other books?

Annie, you always send me scurrying off to look somewhere, and your last links were no exception.  Fascinating.  Tiffany had eight children!  I didn’t know he had a son with Lou. Though one of the other sources shows four daughters, no son, including little Annie who died at age three. Now I’m wondering about those children.  Did they inherit – or had LCT lost everything.  Did any  of them exhibit the talent of their father?  One source says Dorothy, the youngest, became a psychoanalyst and was a friend of Anna Freud.  I want to know more about the Tiffanys.  Clara, I think, went on to a full, productive, and happy life with Bernard (Edward).  Louis – he was so talented, but was he happy?



pedln

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JoanP and Annie, we were all posting about the same time.  Seems like we’re asking some of the same questions.  So, does $18 milliion in sales translate into being in the black?

I’m still wondering why Vreeland included the story of Joe Briggs and his problems, but apparently they did not interfere with his career at Tiffany Glass. He worked for Tiffany’s for 43 years and became art director and assistant manager.   Comments and links below.

The largest collection of Tiffany glass outside of the United States is in the small Lancashire town of Accrington in the north west of England.   Briggs was originally from Accrington, and legend has it that after Tiffany’s death in 1933 he was given the entire stock of glass and other art valued at $600,000.  He gave half of this to relatives and half  to the Corporation of Accrington, which was later transferred to the Haworth Art Gallery there.  It apparently does not have its own webpage showing pictures of the items Briggs gave to his town.  At least, I could not find one.

Quote
In 1919 L C Tiffany retired and divided Tiffany Studios into two. The
Tiffany furnaces were run by Douglas Nash, this is where the
production of Favrile glass continued and the Tiffany Studios were
run by Joseph Briggs which were responsible for the production of
windows, mosaics and lamps.

A rather lengthy PDF file about the Briggs family and the career of Joseph Briggs.  He was 17 when he left England by himself and came to the US.

Joe Briggs and Tiffany


Here is an interesting link to some Tiffany Mosaics.  Scroll down to the picture of the Mosaic Department at Tiffany’s.  You can click and enlarge it quite a bit.  And check out the trivet that is called a whimsey.

Mosaics

The Art Nouveau vases at the Haworth Art Gallery are considered to be the most important such group in Europe. One of the most striking items is a glass mosaic exhibition piece, designed by Briggs himself and entitled Sulphur Crested Cockatoos.


Sulphur Crested Cockatoo



Laura

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #190 on: May 27, 2011, 12:30:56 PM »
Yesterday I read all the interviews, etc. in the heading and went through Susan Vreeland's wonderful website.  Somewhere in all that, I read that Clara went on to paint scarves after she was married, but none of them remain.

Maybe it was in the afterword.

Laura

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #191 on: May 27, 2011, 12:50:16 PM »
Pedln, I, too, wondered why the author included the Joe Briggs story.  It could have been eliminated.  However, it does tie in with all the other social issues presented in the book, like living conditions of immigrants, women’s rights, etc.  There is a picture of Joe Briggs on the author’s website.

I don’t recall wondering what year the book was taking place in while reading the last section.  I recall thinking it was the early 20th century. 

Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #192 on: May 27, 2011, 01:30:34 PM »
I looked up Aeolian organ company and found this interesting page on mechanical organs which were made like the one in Tiffany's home.

http://members.socket.net/%7Ertaylor/aeolian_pipe_organ.html


Most interesting! pic of Royal Albert Hall organ and choir.

http://www.pianola.org/history/history_mechanical.cfm
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

pedln

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #193 on: May 27, 2011, 06:25:40 PM »
Quote
In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it was surely enough of a wonder that an inhuman machine could produce recognisable melodies at all.

True enough, but perhaps not so unbelievable when you consider the inventiveness of the Romans and earlier civilizations.

Quote
I, too, wondered why the author included the Joe Briggs story.  It could have been eliminated.  However, it does tie in with all the other social issues presented in the book,

Yes it does, Laura, and it also points out how Clara was sensitive to the needs of those around her, friends like George, employees like Julia and Wilhemina, and as shown in this situation, co-workers like Joe Briggs.  I guess he came to her for help because they both were involved with Theresa and Marion. Just think, if she had not intervened on his behalf the Haworth Gallery in Lancashire might not hold the largest Tiffany collection in Europe.

Annie

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #194 on: May 27, 2011, 08:43:50 PM »
Pedl'n,
Most interesting links on Joe Biggs and mosaics and the cockatoo of his.  Isn't that cockatoo just something else?  Wow!
"No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth." Robert Southey

Steph

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #195 on: May 28, 2011, 06:11:44 AM »
I too had wondered about Joe Briggs. It seemed sort of a sidebar, but was interesting in that period..
Stephanie and assorted corgi

JoanP

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #196 on: May 28, 2011, 10:03:42 AM »
Don't you think the whole Joe Brigg's story was true?  - That he was secretly married - and married to a black girl?  I don't think this is Vreeland's fiction - since Joe was a real character.  I found this site - a grave marker, I think - that says that Joe married Elizabeth Jenkins in Manhattan, New York, NY, on March 3, 1898. She was a daughter of William and Anne (Grant) Jenkins.
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=32299419

So Joe has this secret - and confides in Clara.  What can/should she do?  She's devoted to Mr. T - if Joe is  married, she knows he will have to leave Tiffany's - because that's his rule.
She also knows that Joe is essential to Tiffany's - If Elizabeth Briggs gets to Mr. T- what will he do?  Will he make an exception for Joe?  When Clara tells Theresa, she makes it clear that she will be the one he'sll let go.  Why is that?
Isn't it ironic?  Joe is married, and doesn't want to be.  He wants to work at Tiffany's - unmarried.  And yet, Clara has found a way for him to stay - and stay married!

Was Clara loyal, in her own way, to Mr. T when she swore everyone to secrecy?  Did she do this for the good of the company?  Or to do a favor  for her friends?
 And how about when Clara tells him she plans to marry?  He's willing to bend the rule for her, make an exception.  I'm trying to remember why she turned this down.  On principle?  What if he told her that he'd remove the ban on marriage for all of his employees?

JoanP

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #197 on: May 28, 2011, 10:09:42 AM »
Oh, thank you!  I do remember now about Clara's scarf painting.  They must have been wonderful.  How does anyone know for sure whether there are any still in existence?  Doesn't silk last?  Can't you imagine one of these scarves, neatly folded, in someone's mother's hope chest?  Who would know that it was one of Clara Driscoll's, much less, who she was?

pedln

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #198 on: May 28, 2011, 12:15:32 PM »
Maybe someday on Antiques Roadshow someone will say, "this was my grandmother's, but she never wore it, she said it had been her mother's scarf."  And we'll see a scarf painted with wisteria or peonies or perhaps a dragonfly or two.  Right now, nobody knows.

Quote
Was Clara loyal, in her own way, to Mr. T when she swore everyone to secrecy?  Did she do this for the good of the company?  Or to do a favor  for her friends?
JoanP

This is what transpired at Clara's last visit to Tiffany Studios.

Quote
"There’s no other way to say this.  I have to leave"

"I can’t grow any more here."

Mr. T:(I could move you to enamels)

"No. It’s more than that"

"Our friendship (w George) made me see how vital love is in a fully lived life. Art alone can’t suffice."

Mr. T: Re: Bernard  (What if I bent the rule? Our little secret?)

"No. I’m done with secrets."

Mr. T: (Then an open breaking of policy under mitigating circumstances?)

I wanted to be there when it happened.  But if my leaving made him consider loosening the strings, maybe it was my last act of love for the Tiffany Girls.

"Under the current business situation, though, it wouldn’t make a difference."

JoanP, you ask some good questions.  I've bold-faced what I think were Clara's reasons for leaving -- love for Bernard, love for the Tiffany Girls, and not being able to grow any more there. 

I think she had the love, and it sounds like a good life, but I wonder about the growth.  Scarf painting seems kind of tame, maybe even lame, compared to what she accomplished at Tiffany's.

Steph

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Re: Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland May Bookclub Online
« Reply #199 on: May 29, 2011, 05:58:40 AM »
I thought that the rule on marriage was only for the women?? Was it everyone who worked for him..Doesnt seem to be possible.
Stephanie and assorted corgi