Terminology and Concepts
- Art jewelry is also referred to as contemporary, studio, art, research, design, or author jewelry.
- Studio jewelry is created by independent artists in small, private studios.
- Avant-garde jewelry positions itself as ahead of mainstream ideas.
- Modern or modernist jewelry reflects the spirit of the times.
- New jewelry assumes an ironic stance towards the past, while contemporary jewelry claims the present.
- Art jewelers question the concepts of preciousness and wearability in conventional jewelry.
- They challenge the idea that jewelry's value is tied to the preciousness of its materials.
- Art jewelers started using alternative materials like aluminum and acrylics in the 1960s.
- The critique of preciousness led to jewelry becoming more body-conscious.
- Jewelry lost its exclusiveness to one sex or age and could be worn by anyone.
- Art jewelry emerged as a reaction to Victorian taste and heavy, ornate jewelry of the 19th century.
- Art jewelry reflected a country's identity and was part of a larger international design reform movement.
- The English Arts and Crafts movement produced early arts and crafts jewelry.
- Arts and crafts jewelers believed in designing and making objects by the same person.
- Arts and crafts jewelry favored materials with little intrinsic value for artistic effects.
- Art nouveau jewelry from France and Belgium contributed to art jewelry.
- Art nouveau jewelry was inspired by symbolist art, literature, and music.
- René Lalique and Alphonse Mucha were important art nouveau jewelers.
- Art nouveau jewelry featured curvilinear and dramatic forms.
- Precious metals and gemstones were often mixed with inexpensive materials in art nouveau jewelry.
- Art jewelry has its roots in modernist jewelry in the United States in the 1940s.
- German goldsmiths' artistic experiments in the 1950s also influenced art jewelry.
- The arts and crafts movement of the late 19th century shares values and beliefs with art jewelry.
- Art jewelry scenes exist in North America, Europe, Australasia, and parts of Asia.
- South America and Africa are developing the infrastructure to support art jewelry.
Centers of Art Jewelry Production
- Wiener Werkstatte in Vienna, Austria
- Skønvirke movement in Denmark
- Viking revival in Finland
- Modernisme in Spain
- Art jewelry in Italy, Russia, and the Netherlands
Arts and Crafts Jewelry in the United States
- Popular with amateurs
- Required modest investment in tools
- Madeline Yale Wynne, a self-taught jeweler
- Brainerd Bliss Thresher, another American jeweler
- Used materials like carved horn and amethyst
- Followed the example of René Lalique
Decline of Art Jewelry in the 1920s and 30s
- Overshadowed by art deco
- Audience response to its functional and aesthetically challenging nature
- Significant break from previous jewelry styles
- Laid down values and attitudes for later twentieth-century ideals of art or studio jewelry
- Art jewelry valued the handmade and prized innovative thinking and creative expression
Modernist Jewelry and Art Jewelry since 1960
- Emerged in urban centers of the United States in the 1940s
- Tied to historical events and societal factors like World War II and the Holocaust
- Modernist jewelry shops and studios in New York City and the Bay Area
- Audience for modernist jewelry was the liberal, intellectual fringe of the middle class
- Modern Handmade Jewelry exhibition organized by the Museum of Modern Art in 1946
- Postwar growth of jewelry in the United States supported by jewelry-making techniques in physical therapy programs for veterans
- Craft-based education and therapy for soldiers and veterans stimulated the interest in craft
- Graduates of craft programs challenged conventional ideas of jewelry and taught a new generation of American jewelers
- Development of architectonic jewelry
- German government and commercial jewelry industry heavily supported modern jewelry designers in the 1960s-1970s
Art jewelry Data Sources