This is a preview of the full article - Full access is exclusive to subscribers. To read the full article please subscribe to our print or digital version of Ornament Magazine. Subscribe now!


Barbara Berger




"This small sample of my collection reflects my taste for the baroque and fabulous—the jewelry for which I have had coups de coeur.” So muses Barbara Berger in the book that accompanies the exhibition of her fashion jewelry at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City through April 20, 2014. The dazzling display does, indeed, represent but a mere sampling: Berger boasts more than four thousand pieces in her possession. And the pieces are baroque and fabulous—and often over the top. One might consider donning sunglasses while viewing.

Berger began collecting at age thirteen, purchasing a pair of Chanel earrings at a Parisian flea market. For the next fifty-plus years, she added to her inventory, which represents the work of more than eighty designers. What began as a passion for vintage costume jewelry made by hand in America and Europe evolved into a broader love of fashion jewelry of every ilk. The exhibition includes a number of younger designers active over the past twenty years, including Larry Vrba, Iradj Moini, and Daniel Von Weinberger, whose “neckstatement” tangles its way across the cover of the exhibition book. 





Carl Little
Carl Little is an art critic, freelance writer and poet who lives and writes on Mount Desert Island, off the coast of Maine. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and graduate degrees from Columbia University and Middlebury College. He is Director of Communications and Marketing for the Maine Community Foundation. Little is also the author of many books on art and contributes to other magazines such as Art In America. Much of his freelance work focuses on his knowledge of Maine art, an interest he acquired from his uncle, painter William Kienbusch, who was a founder of Maine Coast Artists. Here, he takes us on a spirited romp through the Barbara Berger jewelry collection, recently shown at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City.



This article in its entirety appears only in the print magazine.

Keep rich and engaging content in your life, click here to subscribe today.



  Follow Ornament on...