Clara Driscoll: Tiffany Lamp Designer

by | Jul 2, 2022

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Today I visited the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, CT, a small museum with a lovely collection. One of the highlights is their Tiffany glass, including the famous Dragonfly Lamp by Clara Driscoll. She designed some of the firm’s best-known lamps, including the daffodil, the peony, and the dragonfly.

The dragonfly lamp won a bronze medal at the 1900 Paris Universal Exposition and became one of Tiffany Studios’ best-selling forms. Pressed glass jewels ornament the shade and form the dragonflies’ brilliant eyes. Driscoll was very innovative; in this lamp she covered a solid piece of glass with delicate metal filigree in order to simplify production.

Clara was head of the Women’s Glass Cutting Department from 1982 to 1909, managing orders and overseeing the work of many women who selected colors and cut glass to form stained glass windows and lamps.  Tiffany specifically employed women for these jobs as he noted that the women had a much better eye for color than the men.

Clara’s recently discovered letters brought the details of her accomplishments to light, and offer insights into the indispensable role of women at Tiffany Studios.


Dragonfly Table Lamp, ca. 1906
Clara Driscoll, designer (American, 1861-1944)
Tiffany Studios, New York (1902-32)
Leaded glass, bronze
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, museum purchase 2017.15

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