Modernist Jeweler Art Smith





A piece of jewelry is in a sense an object that is not complete in itself. Jewelry is a "what is it?" until you make it relate to the body. The body is a component in design just as air and space are. Like line, form, and color, the body is a material to work with. It is one of the basic inspirations in creating form.

Art Smith
You made certain to high tail it over to the Brooklyn Museum for the Yinka Shonibare show, which closed on on September 20th. But did you get a chance to ogle any of Art Smith's creations? The modernist jeweler (d. 1982) was active during the middle of the 20th century, when he worked exclusively-- and to great, largely undocumented acclaim-- out of a storied workshop and retail space on West 4th Street in New York's West Village. He worked with copper, silver, gold and semi-prcious stones and was heavily influenced by his jazz musician friends and acquaintances.

21 magnificent pieces, along with some of the Cooper Union trained artist's tools, photographs, sketches, and other archival material are on view at the Brooklyn Museum until March 14, 2010. If you won't be making a pilgrimage to NYC anytime soon, you can get your fix with a purchase of the exhibition catalog, From the Village to Vogue: Modernist Jewelry of ART SMITH.

Photos are from the Flickr stream of egotechnique.

2 comments:

September 30, 2009 at 11:12 PM Adrienne S. said...

I love the shapes and layers of the ring. Beautiful pieces...

October 1, 2009 at 12:17 PM Style Noir said...

Wild, right?

My favorite may be the necklace at the top there. But all are just ethereal.

Thanks for stopping by!