Published: August 12, 2008
“Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection” places contemporary jewelry within a larger framework of Twentieth and TwentyFirst Century art. Opening at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design August 16⁊anuary 4, the exhibition showcases a broad array of national and international works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s celebrated Helen Williams Drutt Collection of contemporary jewelry.
During her lifetime, legendary scholar, educator and gallery director Helen Williams Drutt has assembled one of the most comprehensive collections of contemporary studio jewelry in the world. “Ornament as Art” features approximately 275 pieces of jewelry spanning the 1960s through today, as well as drawings, sketchbooks, watercolors and sculptural constructions by the artists. Placed in context with significant movements in the non-craft art world, the exhibition encourages the appreciation of contemporary jewelry beyond its traditional boundaries without ignoring its roots.
Objects on view include necklaces, bracelets, brooches, earrings and rings culled from 15 different countries. Highlights include a sterling silver and polyester resin Torque 22-D Neckpiece, 1971, by Stanley Lechtzin, a leading innovator in electroforming technologies; Claus Bury’s Ring, 1970, a revolutionary work that blends precious metal with alternative materials; and Bernhard Schobinger’s Scherben vom Moritzplatz Berlin necklace, 1982‱983, a distinctive combination of antique crystal beads with shards of Coca-Cola bottles found in a politically charged section of Berlin.
The exhibition, organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog.
Cindi Strauss, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s curator of modern and contemporary decorative arts and design, will give a lecture about the exhibition on Sunday, August 24, at 3 pm at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design.
The Mint Museum of Art is at 2730 Randolph Road. For information, 704-337-2000 or www.mintmuseum.org .
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