Art Historian Toni Greenbaum will speak at the International Design Museum in Munich on March 15th.
This lecture will focus on cogent issues affecting the evolution of studio jewelry in America during the mid-twentieth century. She will address the formative organizations, educational opportunities, museum exhibitions, publications, and commercial activity. As part of a broader cultural movement that grew following the end of World War Two, studio jewelry boasted numerous brilliant practitioners throughout the United States. The lecture will feature Alexander Calder, Art Smith, Sam Kramer, Margaret De Patta, Olaf Skoogfors, Stanley Lechtzin, J. Fred Woell, Ramona Solberg, and John Paul Miller, among many others.
Greenbaum is the pre-eminent scholar on mid-century american jewelry and its’ influences. The concepts and history of her essential book, Messengers of Modernism sets the stage for Contemporary American Studio Jewelry artists including Jamie Bennett, Lola Brooks, Robert Ebendorf and Melanie Bilenker and includes work and ideas that influenced the work of European artists like Otto Kunzli, Herman Jünger, Helen Britton and Bettina Speckner. Messengers of Modernism analyzes the output of American modernist jewelers, many of whom, such as Alexander Calder and Harry Bertoia, began as sculptors or painters. In their metal-working skills many of these artists were self-taught and evolved new techniques. This jewelry rejected expensive precious stones in favor of cheaper, irregular gems, and even glass, pebbles and shards of pottery. The influence of Surrealism, Cubism, Constructivism, and Abstract Expressionism led these artists to explore representations of space and individual perception in ways which challenged the traditions of earlier jewelry production.
Die Neue Sammlung (International Design Museum)
March 15, 2015 11am