The Artist as Jeweler

12 Oct 2011

I love the idea of the Museum of Art and Design show of the same name—The Artist as Jeweler—because I love art...and I looooove jewelry. But more than being able to indulge in my obsession for bracelets, this exhibition really shows that artists are designers at heart.

The roster of artists whose jewelry is in the show is a little mindboggling, from Picasso, Braque, Max Ernst, Jasper Johns, and Rauschenberg to Jeff Koons and Anish Kapoor. And what is funny is that none of these artists is really known for their jewelry, and yet their artistic sensibility is apparent in each of the jewelry pieces they designed.

But that is no surprise, I guess. To be an artist the way Picasso or Lichtenstein was, an innate sensibility is always going to pour out no matter what they are doing, whether creating a painting or designing a brooch for a close friend.

And more interesting to me is that these artists obviously sought out this kind of outlet, a departure from what they were doing in their studio practices. I wonder about the breakthroughs Max Ernst made as he worked on his jewelry design. Or what new ideas Jasper Johns thought of as he created his piece. That jewelry-making could be a gateway for these artists in terms of more self-expression is awesome!

If you want to see how jewelry making might open up new doors in your art, consider joining our sister site, Jewelry Making Daily. Enjoy!


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