| Wolcott Driscoll, a Tallmadge native who moved to New York in Driscoll who designed, and her department of “Tiffany Girls” come to signify an entire artistic era.
This discovery was revealed in 2007 by the New York Historical Society, based on letters Driscoll exchanged with her sister, Emily, over a period of several decades. These “round robin” letters were first started by their grandmother and the tradition was passed down through generations. The letters are literal, detailed chronicles of the women’s lives and happenings – in Tallmadge, where the Pierce daughters grew up and where their mother Fannie remained – and in New York City. Those letters reveal that Driscoll designed some of Tiffany’s most celebrated works: the Wisteria, Dragonfly and Peony motifs and other objects as head of the Tiffany Studios’ Women’s Glass Cutting Department. The historical society mounted an exhibition titled A New Light on Tiffany of more than 50 lamps and some of Driscoll’s letters, focusing on the women who labored anonymously to create the works now known worldwide by the name of Tiffany.
Progress Through Preservation will get its own view of Clara Driscoll’s work through her great-great grand niece Linda D. Alexander, who traces her roots to Connecticut’s “Western Reserve.’’ Ironically, she was born in Brooklyn and moved to Akron’s Firestone Park, whereas her great-great aunt made nearly the opposite trek. Alexander is a graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School and the University of Akron. She is now executive assistant to the senior vice president of human resources at Summa Health Systems.
Alexander will talk about her famous relative’s work – Driscoll and her department built the mosaics in Wade Chapel in Cleveland’s Lakeview Cemetery – and of the revival of interest in her work. The New York Historical Society’s exhibit, which was held over because of its popularity, then went to the Frist Museum in Nashville in 2008, and then part of it to the Cleveland Art Museum as part of the Fabrege, Lalique and Tiffany exhibit in January 2009. Last year, the exhibit toured Europe – Amsterdam, Munich and Paris.
Those wishing to have dinner beforehand will gather at 5:30 p.m. at Summa’s Virtues Restaurant in the 55 Arch St. building on the Summa Campus.
Those meeting for dinner at Virtues may have their car valet parked for no charge. Drive your car north on Arch Street to the circle at the entrance to the Brennan Critical Care Building. After dinner, walk a block south to the 55 Arch Street Building. Those coming just to the meeting may park in the parking lot behind the 55 Arch Street Building. Normal parking rates will apply. The auditorium where the meeting will be held is on the lower level of the 55 Arch Street Building.