Tag Archives: education

Maker and Muse, part 2: the ASJRA Conference

Conference
ASJRA
Necklace by Sybil Dunlop

I recently attended the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA).  This year the conference was held in Chicago in conjunction with the exhibit Maker and Muse, Women and Early 20th Century Art Jewelry at the Driehaus Museum.  Elyse Zorn Karlin, curator of the exhibit, is one of the founders and co-directors of ASJRA.

Day 1
ASJRA
Mosaic fireplace surround at Driehaus Museum

The first day of the conference began with a tour of the Driehaus Museum and a curator’s tour of the exhibit.  Click here to see my post about the exhibit. read more

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Maker and Muse, part 1: Exhibit and Book

Maker and Muse Exhibit
maker and muse
Child and Child tiara
maker and muse
Stained glass dome in the Driehaus Museum

I recently visited the exhibit Maker and Muse, Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry at the Driehaus Museum in Chicago.  Curated by Elyse Zorn Karlin, author of Jewelry and Metalwork in the Arts and Crafts Tradition, the exhibit explores the multiple roles women played in the creation of early 20th century art jewelry as makers, patrons, and subjects.  About half of the 250 pieces in the exhibit are drawn from the collection of Richard H. Driehaus – founder of the museum – and half are on loan from other museums and private collections.  I was in Chicago to attend the annual conference of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA) which was focused this year on the subjects covered in the museum exhibition.  For my post on the conference click here. read more

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Building a Library of Jewelry Books: Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, and Jugendstil

art nouveauThe turn of the 20th century saw an explosion of new design movements throughout the world.  These movements go by different names in different countries:  Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Jugendstil, Secessionist, Wiener Werkstatte, Sconvirke.  These movements also coincide with, or overlap, the Edwardian era which is named for the reign of King Edward VII in England (1901-1910).

art nouveau
Skonvirk Brooch

With the exception of Edwardian jewelry with its delicate tracery of diamonds and platinum, the other design movements are often characterized by the minimal use of precious materials; the emphasis instead is on flowing lines (sometimes contrasted with hard-edged geometry), color, and symbolism.  There are several excellent books on jewelry of this era: read more

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Building a Library of Jewelry Books: Victorian

Victorian
Victorian Pearl Pendant

During the Victorian era (1837-1901) a series of major inventions, discoveries, and movements influenced the design of jewelry.  The industrial revolution allowed jewelry to be manufactured at lower cost and in greater quantities than ever before, and thus become available to a wider segment of the population.  In the mid-19th century, after 200 years of isolation, foreign merchant ships began to visit Japan and Japanese design had a major impact on jewelry and the decorative arts in the latter half of the 19th century.  In the 1870’s diamonds were discovered in South Africa and this, combined with the invention of a torch hot enough to work platinum, greatly affected the look of jewelry for the next several decades.  On the other hand, the Arts and Crafts movement arose as a reaction to the industrial revolution, and looked back toward a romanticized view of the middle ages (this will be the subject of its own blog post). read more

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Links from Around the Web: Modernist Jewelry of the 1930’s

I came across a fantastic article about fine modernist jewelry of the 1930’s by Audrey Friedman of Primavera Gallery in New York:

Modernist Jewelry of the 1930’s

Audrey Friedman will be the 2015 honoree of the “Women of Estate and Antique Jewelry” award at next summer’s Antique Jewelry and Art Conference, better-known as “Jewelry Camp”.

Modernist Jewelry
Modernist Jewelry of the 1930’s: Coro Duette and matching bracelet
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Building a Library of Jewelry Books: the Basics

I have an extensive collection of jewelry books and over the years I’ve developed favorites that I turn to again-and-again when I’m researching a piece of jewelry.  For someone who is starting out collecting or selling vintage and antique jewelry there are several books that are indespensible.  I wouldn’t necessarily describe these books as “beginner” books; each is very serious in its coverage of its subject, but they cover a broad range of periods and styles.

While these books contain information about prices, I don’t recommend using them as price guides because most were written several years ago.  In fact, I don’t think books are a particularly good source of pricing these days; much better information can be found by doing research on the internet.  The best way to research prices is by using these books to help you figure out what you have acquired.  Then you can search for pricing of comparable items on sites like Ruby Lane, Etsy, and 1st Dibs; through a general Google search; and from auction sales results. read more

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Report from Jewelry Camp

Last week I attended “Jewelry Camp” – the nickname for the annual Antique Jewelry and Art Conference – for the first time.  Held from July 30-August 1st, Jewelry Camp began with tours of the Macklowe Gallery and Van Cleef and Arpels in New York City and continued in Westchester, about an hour north of the City, with two days of seminars on a variety of topics about antique jewelry.

I was lucky enough to attend the optional tour of the Macklowe Gallery where Ben Macklowe showed us around his gallery.  The Macklowe Gallery specializes in decorative arts of the Art Nouveau period and, among their riches, they have the largest collection of Tiffany light fixtures for sale in the world.  But our focus was on the jewelry, and Ben let us choose pieces and examine them while he answered our questions about the pieces.  Among my favorites were a large Marcus and Company boulder opal brooch/pendant and an Art Nouveau horn necklace. read more

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