The exhibition International Art Jewelry:1895-1925 has opened at The Forbes Galleries, New York City and will run through March17, 2012.
The following is partially excerpted from the catalog essay:
Towards the end of the 19th century and in stark contrast to the dark and heavily ornamented world of the Victorian era, a new design aesthetic emerged. It was to survive for roughly 30 years until surpassed by the strong linearity of the Art Deco period. This new artistic direction emerged in many countries around the world although the impetus for it varied in each nation. It was at once a reaction against the strictures of the present and a look forward to the beginning of a new century, though it also incorporated references to the past.
Jewelry, like all of the decorative arts, provided the opportunity for exploration and experimentation, and often expanded the boundaries of mainstream design. The new art jewelry was initially meant to be worn and appreciated by a select group of people with artistic tastes, but as the movement’s popularity grew, commercial versions were produced increasing availability. Today, even the more commercial output is recognized for its elegant design and is widely collected.
The historical, political, and social events that influenced the change in design direction differed in each country, as did the materials, techniques, and motifs employed. And yet there is a common thread running through art jewelry of the early twentieth century that unites the movements. Referred to by a number of different names: Arts and Crafts (Great Britain, United States), Glasgow Style (Scotland), Art Nouveau (France, Belgium, United States),
The goal of this exhibition is to show both the enormous range of pieces made during this period as well as the relationship between the various art jewelry/design reform movements in many countries in the early 20th century.
The hope is that by viewing many of these pieces together it will actually help to blur the lines...to show that they are part of a whole rather than distinctly separate movements or styles. The jewelry and objects in this show were created by artisans in many countries who were anxious to produce something fresh and new using their own backgrounds.
Catalogs are available for $30...email firstname.lastname@example.org.