International Art Jewelry at The Forbes Galleries image 1

MORNING GLORY BROOCH/PENDANT, Marcus & Co., American; plique-à-jour, gold; circa 1900. Siegelson Collection, New York.

International Art Jewelry

jewelry arts


If you are suffering from winter doldrums or find yourself gloomy over world affairs, the extravagant exhibition of International Art Jewelry at The Forbes Galleries in New York City is a welcome reminder that beauty and exquisite craftsmanship transcend quotidian adversities. The show of nearly two hundred early-twentieth-century pieces of jewelry from the United States, England, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, and Scandinavia is filled with work that celebrates flowers, birds, women, luxurious gemstones, appealing semiprecious stones, ancient cultures and sensuous design, and is on display through March 17, 2012.

Elyse Zorn Karlin, exhibition curator, writes in her introduction that her aim is to show how the new design aesthetic that emerged in the final years of the nineteenth century manifested itself in Western Europe and the United States. With its flamboyance, love of color and bold sensuality, the movement was a reaction not only to the stiff, formal, subdued aesthetics of the Victorians, but also to the brutishness of the early machine age. As textile mills and steel factories spread black smoke over the industrial regions of Europe, artists, writers, musicians, and designers looked for inspiration to nature and to what they believed were more authentic and humanistic cultures from the past.




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