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Arts / Entertainment

Best-selling author Susan Vreeland March 30

March 25, 2011

Susan Vreeland's art-related fiction peers into the inner lives of renowned painters from history. With each novel, Vreeland makes a pledge to her readers to "enrich their lives, sharpen their sensibilities," and to inspire them to "make their own creative endeavors a higher priority in their lives." Vreeland will speak about her latest novel at the Hilton Fort Collins on Wednesday, March 30.

New York Times best-selling author Susan Vreeland will be speaking in Fort Collins at 7 p.m. March 30, at the Hilton Fort Collins, 425 W. Prospect. The event is free and open to the public – no tickets are required. The event is being sponsored by Colorado State University Libraries.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis (maximum capacity of 700 people). A book signing and sales will follow the program.   

Intimate look at art and artists

Vreeland, best known for her books about art and artists, will be speaking about her latest book, Clara and Mr. Tiffany.

During the Gilded Age just before the turn of the twentieth century, Louis Comfort Tiffany forged his reputation in stained-glass. His highly recognizable style blended Art Nouveau, the exoticism of the Aesthetics Movement, and his own adoration of nature.

Until recently, it was assumed that he was the designer of the celebrated leaded-glass lampshades. However, two collections of letters reveal that an unrecognized woman, Clara Driscoll, designed the floral shades as well as many of the bronze bases.

In Vreeland's novel, Clara Driscoll yearns to establish herself as a creator of exquisite pieces of art, and to be recognized publically. She is a vibrant, intelligent, wry woman, a leader whose challenge, like that of many women, is to decide what makes her most happy--the professional world of her hands, or the personal world of her heart.

The novel interprets her creative and personal life, her loves, losses, triumphs, and her startling decisions.

Vreeland’s other works include:

  • Luncheon of the Boating Party which reveals Renoir's masterpiece, the personalities involved in its making, and the joie de vivre of late nineteenth century Paris.
  • Life Studies is a collection of stories of Impressionist painters and contemporary people encountering art.
  • Girl in Hyacinth Blue traces an alleged Vermeer painting through the centuries.
  • The Passion of Artemisia illuminates Italian Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.
  • The Forest Lover follows rebel British Columbia painter Emily Carr in her encounters with native peoples and cultures.

Three of these books have been New York Times best sellers and winners of the Theodor Geisel Award, the highest honor given by the San Diego Book Awards. Vreeland's novels have been translated into twenty-six languages, and have frequently been selected as Book Sense Picks.

She was a high school English teacher in San Diego for 30 years.

Free author evening series

This is part of a series of free author evenings presented by sponsored by Friends of the CSU Libraries the Poudre River Friends of the Library, and sponsored by KUNC Radio and the Hilton Fort Collins.

The event is being sponsored by Colorado State University Libraries. For more information about the event, contact Jane Barber at (970) 491-5712 or

Contact: Jane Barber
Phone: (970) 491-5712