Renwick Gallery

I went to the Renwick Gallery the other day. It's part of the Smithsonian, addressing "American crafts and decorative arts" from the 19th C to now. The museum was exhibiting jewelry, because making jewelry is a craft. Here are some highlights:

The exhibition consisted of functional art-jewelry made between the 60's and today. According to the exhibit, it wasn't until the 60's that people started making jewelry that coincided with the ideas behind different art movements. Before that, the issue of functionality kinda got in the way of doing that. I imagine that the availability of different kinds of plastics and mass-produced items made it easier to craft functional jewelry in line with modern art ideas. Also, the art ideas changing, maybe. I don't know. I'm speculating.

This first image is of a necklace made in 1982 by Tone Vigeland. One thing that I thought right away about this exhibit, a thing that this necklace illustrates, is that much of this stuff looks a lot like what we see in stores sometimes. A lot of what I saw also brings to mind things that I've seen in science fiction movies like the Gijs Bakker flower petal necklace on the right. I don’t think that it was in any movie, but it reminds me of some that I have seen. It extends far from wearer's personal space and it’s not made of jewels, but hard plastic.
The third image is also by Bakker. It is of a pin that is a postcard cut-out with diamonds on it. The meeting between elements that are kind of cheapy and stuff that is spendy is really evident in both these pieces.

Another example of the cheapy/spendy idea is this pin by Judy Onofrio:
Anyway, that’s the first floor. I’ll write more about the second floor later.







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