Curio Cabinet | June 19, 2020

A lamp may be as much an object of art as a painting or a piece of statuary. In fact, it should be.

—Tiffany Studios, a company advertisement

In 1903 a strike was brewing at the Tiffany Studios in New York. The men of the Lead Glaziers and Glass Cutters Union were demanding that Louis Comfort Tiffany fire Clara Driscoll and thirty-five women who worked for her in the glass-cutting department. The men complained that Clara’s thirty-five-dollar-a-week salary was a personal affront and that the young women were taking jobs from men who needed to support their families. They got the dirty work. They assembled the lampshades and soldered the cut pieces of glass, while Clara’s department designed the shades, selected the glass, and cut the individual segments.

If you are a student, faculty member, or staff member at an institution whose library subscribes to Project Muse, you can read this piece and the full archives of the Missouri Review for free. Check this list to see if your library is a Project Muse subscriber.