The Jewelry of Ideas: The Susan Grant Lewin Collection

The Jewelry of Ideas: The Susan Grant Lewin Collection

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Overview

Radical developments in jewelry from across the world, from traditional metalsmithing to computer-aided design

The Jewelry of Ideas is published in conjunction with Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s exhibition celebrating gifts from the Susan Grant Lewin Collection of Contemporary Jewelry. This renowned collection, built by the New York–based Lewin over several decades and recently donated to Cooper Hewitt, captures the diversity and achievements of art, or studio, jewelry with nearly 150 significant works by designers from the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The brooches, necklaces and rings—the majority of which were made in the last 15 years—reveal how these contemporary jewelers have revolutionized the medium. Many take their cues from age-old jewelry conventions but transform them into expressions of our time. Others confront social, political or highly personal concerns using unconventional materials and techniques that range from traditional metalsmithing to computer-aided design.

Among the more than 100 featured designers are Giampaolo Babetto, Gijs Bakker, Friedrich Becker, David Bielander, Iris Eichenberg, Eva Eisler, Sandra Enterline, Arline Fisch, Thomas Gentille, Herman Hermsen, John Iversen, Daniel Jocz, Herman Jünger, Jiro Kamata, Otto Künzli, Bruno Martinazzi, Bruce Metcalf, Dorothea Prühl, Wendy Ramshaw, Joyce Scott, Kiff Slemmons and Art Smith.

Descriptions of specific works demonstrate that while the mastery of materials and techniques is critical to the creative process, it is not an end in itself, but only the means to accomplish an aesthetic vision. Process statements from each designer and a full gallery of the jewelry accompany the narrative sequence of extraordinary, stirring, uncommon pieces from this consummate collection.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942303183
Publisher: Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Publication date: 12/26/2017
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Ursula-Ilse Neuman is an independent curator, author and lecturer specialising in contemporary art jewelry. She is former curator of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York (1992-2014). Author of Linda MacNeil. Jewels of Glass (ISBN 9783897904712). With over 20 years as a journalist, Susan Grant Lewin cut her design teeth as Design Editor of Home Furnishings Daily and then as Senior Editor of Design and Architecture at House Beautiful Magazine. She then segued seamlessly into her position as Global Creative Director of Formica Corporation. Her strategy to reposition the 75-year-old company was to commission new works utilizing the talents of the leading designers of the time. Lewin curated several exhibitions. Two of the winners of the "Surface and Ornament" competition initiated by Lewin were jewelers Bob Ebendorf and Ivy Ross. They charted the course of Lewin's interest in American jewelry. Today Lewin is director of her own public relations firm.

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