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19th Anniversary 154 www.afamag.com | www.incollect.com MAKER & MUSE by Tracy Kamerer T he first decades of the twentieth century ushered in a period of great change around the world, sparking unprecedented innovation in all areas of the arts. Inspired by the broader art movements of the day and their unique cultures and contexts, jewelry makers in the world’s design centers wrestled with modernity. Many broke from tradition to create new styles as a reaction to the conformity of mass-produced goods throughout the Industrial Revolution and the changing role of women in society. Their alternative designs — boldly artistic, exquisitely detailed, handcrafted, and inspired by nature — came to be known as art jewelry. Featuring exquisite works by renowned artists such as Louis Comfort Tiffany, Charlotte Newman, and René Lalique, Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry, opening January 29, at the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida, celebrates the impact of women on art jewelry. Maker & Muse features more than two hundred pieces of jewelry created in the early decades of the twentieth century. The works represent five different areas of art jewelry design and fabrication: the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, Art Nouveau in France, Jugendstil in Germany and Austria, the jewelry works of Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York, and American Arts and Crafts in Chicago. Each of the designers represented in Maker & Muse, though greatly influenced by their own individual contexts, shared a similar aesthetic ideal: to produce inventive jewelry with rich materials, intricate craftsmanship, and dramatic forms. The jewelry and accessories on display also celebrate the role that women played in the creation and design of art jewelry, both as muses to male designers, and, for the first time, as designers and makers in their own right. Works created by both men and women are exhibited together to highlight commonalities, while also illustrating each maker’s distinctive style. In these masterpieces, the female aesthetic predominates — even in regions or movements that saw few women physically present in the workshop. For instance, not only did artisans fashion many of their works to accentuate the stylish clothing and beauty of the “new” woman, they also often represented her within the work itself. Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry Unknown Maker, Belt Buckle, ca. 1900. Parcel-gilt copper alloy. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. Photograph by John A. Faier, 2014, © The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.
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