Modernist Jewelry 1930-1960
 The Wearable Art Movement
by Marbeth Schon
review by Anna Ferreira

A photo pf the book cover for "Modernist Jewelry" featuring a number of pieces of jewelry art to wear.

 

 

The Wearable Art Movement by Marbeth Schon showcases the work of 175 jewelers. These were artists who broke away from the mainstream of jewelry design, and looked to the fine arts for inspiration.  They are described as "Surrealists, Cubists and Abstract Expressionists functioning as sculptors in small scale, painters in enamel, and architects in miniature." 

A very comprehensive text interestingly details the artists’ stories, and over 540 color and 35 black and white photos with value references, beautifully illustrate their unique jewelry creations. 

The material is arranged chronologically and linked to four pivotal exhibitions held in the 1940s and ‘50s. The first entitled, "Modern Handmade Jewelry" took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1946, an event some acknowledge as the actual birth of the "wearable art" featured in this volume.  With other subjects covered equally as well, this book, is a "tour-de-force" worthy of a place on a collector’s bookshelf.

Review reprinted with permission from Vintage Fashion & Costume Jewelry and the author

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