Artwork by women can be as unique and different as women themselves. The perspective of any artist, male or female, is what we strive to exhibit. Perspective - does it relate to you; does it speak to you; does it challenge you; does it reach you as truth?

There are three significant artistic journeys to take this month that may very well make a significant impact on the way you see  things in life. It may change your perspective.

CURTAIN: An Installation by Erika Johnson
Through August 9

Erika Johnson, who worked with acclaimed feminist artist Judy Chicago at the Vanderbilt University invitational in 2006, has created an installation in the Parthenon’s West Gallery. The installation, titled "Curtain," explores the ways modern technology connects us but also hinders attempts at true communication.

Because the amount of information available on the Internet is so vast, it can become an impediment to action. Johnson explores this issue especially as it relates to the overwhelming amount of information available about global societal problems such as world hunger and genocide. Though modern technologies call us to action by making us aware of these issues, their sheer number can render us helpless.

Please take your cell phone and interact with the Curtain for the fullest journey.

Johnson’s installation is an attempt to address and reconcile these issues. As she states, “Curtain is an installation, a fearful, playful, hopeful attempt at reclamation, an invitation.”

The Parthenon is open 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., 
Tuesday –Saturday
Admission is $5.00 for adults

Estel Gallery Common Thread:

Three female artists examine existence through the use of thread in their work. Mixed media work by Cathy Breslaw, Vanessa Oppenhoff and Teri Moore

Opening Reception:
Saturday, June 9
6 p.m. - 9 p.m. 
115 Rosa L Parks Blvd Downtown Nashville 
Hours: Tuesday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday: noon - 3 p.m. or by appointment

Now at The Frist Upper Gallery – Visit the Tiffany Collection:  The Role of Women in Tiffany Studios

What is now evident thanks to the recent discovery of the letters of Clara Driscoll (1861–1944), a long time employee of Tiffany Studios, is that women, not just men, played a vital role in the Tiffany firm.

As was typical in turn-of-the-century America, Tiffany employed only unmarried or widowed women. In 1892 he established the Women’s Glass Cutting Department with six employees and Driscoll as supervisor. Just two years later, thirty-five women worked under her. The women both selected and cut glass, which previously had been the monopoly of men. The unionized male workers in the firm reacted to this development by attempting to close down the new department. Tiffany however believed women to be more sensitive to nuances of color, and they kept their jobs.

Nicknamed the Tiffany Girls, these pioneering women executed commissions for leaded windows, mosaics and lamps. A few of the women, including Driscoll, who had graduated from Western Reserve School of Design for Women in Cleveland before coming to New York, emerged as important designers.

Driscoll is now rightly credited with Tiffany’s most iconic lampshades, including the Dragonfly, the Wisteria and the Poppy designs (examples of which are found in this exhibition). The idea of decorating lamp bases with mosaics was also hers. In addition to lamps, she designed table clocks, small boxes, desk sets, candlesticks and other small-scale luxury goods.  

As this Frist exhibition endeavors to show, Tiffany’s artistic vision served as the inspiration and guide for all the artists and artisans who worked for him. All good managers and visionaries, however, give credit where credit is due and regretfully he did not.

The New York Times reported in February of 2007 that Clara Driscoll was more than the supervisor of a team of talented craftswomen. She was also a hidden creative force behind a legendary object in the history of American decorative arts: the Tiffany lamp.

“I think Tiffany would have died if word had gotten out that Driscoll designed some of his most famous lamps," said Martin Eidelberg, professor emeritus of art history at Rutgers University.

Through excerpts from Driscoll’s letters, there is a vivid personal story of a successful woman in turn-of-the-century New York: the death of her first husband, Francis Driscoll, and a broken engagement to a subsequent fiancé; her years as a single woman enjoying the city’s social and cultural opportunities; and finally another marriage in 1909, which ended her tenure at Tiffany. In keeping with the conventions of the time, married women could not be employed at the studio.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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