This beautifully written new book explores the work of 175 of the most important American modernist artist jewelers through a comprehensive text and over 540 color and 35 black and white photos. Beginning with the streamlining of Art Moderne, modernist jewelers mirrored the consciousness of their age. They were free thinkers—artists who broke away from the mainstream of jewelry design and looked to the fine arts for inspiration; they were Surrealists, Cubists, and Abstract Expressionists functioning as sculptors in small scale, painters in enamels, and architects in miniature. The modernist metalsmiths of the 1930s through 1960s laid the groundwork for the enormous expansion of metalsmithing in the 1970s and '80s. These creative jewelers produced personal designs as they absorbed the changes happening in the world around them. The artists' stories and jewelry are arranged chronologically and linked to four pivotal exhibitions held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York City, in 1946; the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, in 1948 and 1955; and an exhibition on paper in 1959. Together, the artists at these important events comprise the modernist movement of wearable art directly and through their influence on the subsequent generations.
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