On View: Maker and Muse
Palm Beach, Florida
Employing groundbreaking techniques and innovative materials, jewelry design underwent a tidal change during the early 1900s. Now, the position of women in that design revolution takes center stage in the exhibition, “Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry.”
Running through May 26 at the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, the show features more than 200 pieces of handcrafted art jewelry pulled from various historic collections. When examining iconic pieces from the era, “We soon realized we were really looking at women’s changing role in art jewelry,” says the show’s curator, jewelry historian Elyse Zorn Karlin. “Women were the inspiration for the jewelry that men were making, but for the first time they were also makers in their own right.”
The selected works include French Art Nouveau and German Jugendstil-style pieces, which depict idealized feminine forms like the mythical nudes of Rene Lalique. The exhibit also highlights rarities from Chicago’s famed Kalo Silver Workshop, founded in 1900 by female artisans. Designers from this group, such as Clara Barck Welles, contributed greatly “to art jewelers working today,” notes Karlin. “Jewelry may look very different now, but their idea of individuals making handcrafted works in the studio lives on.”
PHOTOS: TOP, CHARLOTTE NEWMAN, NECKLACE, CA. 1890. GOLD, PEARL, AQUAMARINE. COLLECTION OF TEREZA M. M. DRIEHAUS; BOTTOM, UNKNOWN MAKER, BELT BUCKLE, CA. 1900. PARCEL-GILT COPPER ALLOY. COLLECTION OF RICHARD H. DRIEHAUS. BOTH PHO BY JOHN A. FAIER, 2014, THE RICHARD H. DRIEHAUS MUSEUM.
More Around The Pacific Northwest: