PUBLICATION REVIEWS


Publication Reviews 34.2



Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery 2010 Celebrating 70: 70 Years by 70 Artists. Seattle, Washington, Lorene Publications: 150 p., softcover $35, hardcover $50.

Gallerist Karen Lorene turned seventy in August and to celebrate she threw an exhibition, with an invitation extended to seventy artists to choose a year dating between 1940 (the year Lorene was born) and 2009, and challenged them to create a work of jewelry that personified their selected year in some manner. It was a terrific exhibition, and Robin Updike provided Ornament with an inspired article (Vol. 33, No. 5: 54-57, 2010) that depicted all the works and the artist and year being honored.

Shown in this compendium are such works as Kait Rhoads’s necklace entitled We’ll Meet Again. “I am drawn to the black humor resulting from the existence of the atomic bomb that ended WWII,” Rhoads says. “1941 marks America’s first involvement at Pearl Harbor.” Ron Ho aimed his sights at 1946, with his necklace Limehouse Blues Revisited. He says, “Having always been enamored with the old MGM musicals in their heyday, my interpretation is a reflection of those glory days with Fred Astaire’s sophistication and elegance. Jessica Calderwood for 1954, Brown Versus Board of Education, made a sensitively raw reversible pin in enamel on copper, with ceramic decals of vintage photographs in which she grappled with addressing race relations and equality. Similarly, Judith Hoyt made another visual statement about race in America with her Rosa Parks Bus for 1954.

It seems that the 1960s-1970s were most sought over for interpretation. Jan Smith in her 1967 Come Together necklace, says that the “Summer of Love represented social, political, environmental activism. I believe these ideals are needed more than ever. We need to come together, right now.”

And dear to my heart is Nancy Worden’s 1989 tribute in her That’s All Folks! bracelet. As Worden remembers, “Mel Blanc was the voice of Looney Tunes and other cartoon characters. He died in 1989 and asked that his tombstone say, ‘That’s all folks!’”

And so the catalog goes on and on through to 2009. It is well worth purchasing and the gallery can be contacted directly at 206.624.6768. While you are ordering Celebrating 70 include Lorene’s Signs of Life. Each year she matches jewelry artists with writers who use the jewelry as inspiration for poems or short stories. This too culminates in an exhibition and a printed record.

Carolyn L. E. Benesh

 

 

 

Chunghie Lee 2010 Bojagi & Beyond. Providence, Rhode Island, Beyond & Above: 135 p., softcover $35 USA, $40 outside USA. Orders may be placed at bojagiandbeyond@gmail.com.

Another example of self-publishing is by the internationally renowned fiber artist Chunghie Lee. It is a beautifully presented book on the Korean wrapping cloth tradition (bojagi), of which Lee is a master and pioneer in its more contemporary interpretations. She is a frequent traveler between Korea and the United States, where she teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design. Lee also spends much of her time as an instructor in the art of bojagi in other countries through workshops and exhibitions.

Bojagi textiles are composed of pieces of fabric, traditionally of scraps from domestic life, but the construction technique is different from patchwork in the manner of piecing the materials into a larger fabric. Lee discusses this and more in her book. Bojagi & Beyond contains a history of the cloth and technique, some special bojagi, how to make and use and embellish the bojagi, as well as some projects. Most beautiful and illuminating is Chunghie Lee’s own gallery of work, including BoJaGi, performances, wearables, and installations. It was a fond remembrance to see on page 54 the image that was used for Ornament’s cover article on Chunghie Lee in Vol. 19, No. 4: 44-47, 1996.

CLEB

 

 

 

Lois Sherr Dubin 2002 Jesse Monongya: Opal Bears and Lapis Skies. Manchester, Vermont, Hudson Hills Press: 182 p., $50. Available at the Heard Museum Shop, Phoenix, Arizona, concurrently with the exhibition of Jesse Monongye: Opal Bears and Lapis Skies showing through June 26, 2011.

In 2002, Lois Sherr Dubin wrote this definitive book on Jesse Monongye (his name has also been spelled Monongya), accompanied by the bright and sparkling photographs of Kiyoshi Togashi in one hundred seventy-five color plates. It is a treasure of an art book of a great Native American jeweler, celebrating his life and art, especially his unparalleled use of the inlay technique.

The author of The History of Beads: From 30,000 B.C. to the Present and North American Indian Jewelry and Adornment from Prehistory to the Present, among others, Dubin’s text is a valuable document, thorough and recounting, often in Monongye’s own words, the personal experiences and issues which led him on a path to creations that have been compared to that of Renaissance goldsmiths.

CLEB

 

 

 

Wolf-Dieter Seiwert 2009 Jewellery from the Orient. Treasures from the Bir Collection. Stuttgart, Arnoldsche: 320 p., $85. Truus Daalder 2009 Ethnic Jewellery and Adornment. Australia • Oceania • Asia • Africa. Adelaide, Ethnic Art Press and Victoria, Macmillan Art Publishing: 420 p., $152.

The middle to late twentieth century saw the birth of many collections of ethnographic jewelry: Dr. Ümit Bir, Truus and Joost Daalder, as well as the Ghysels (Ornament, Vol. 33, No. 3, 2010) all started their passions in this period. The above books, both so heavy as to be uncomfortable to hold, are very personal accounts of these very large and comprehensive collections, comprising some three thousand and many hundreds respectively, with the latter augmented by over two hundred additional Aboriginal and Oceanic pieces from the South Australian Museum, where two curators also participated in the book process. Both volumes are photographed and reproduced to high standards; I particularly liked the slightly underexposed images of the Bir collection, almost as if untouched by Photoshop. Like so many who collect, the Daalder book is a collaboration by Truus, the author, Joost the editor and Jeremy, their son, who was the photographer. Seiwert is a researcher and former curator who became acquainted with Dr. Bir, whose careful collecting notes, which provide dates and sources for purchased items, has enhanced the book.

After the slew of books on ethnic jewelry published in this century, I was quite surprised to see both novel and superb work, including but not limited to those held by the Australian museum. Even with the current popularity of Miao and other southwest Chinese minority silver, the Daalder collection has stunning examples not previously published, as well as items like a woven silver wire necklace from Sumbawa, Indonesia. Seemingly done as one piece, the woven beads swell out of the woven chain; a wireworker’s masterpiece (191: 303, 304). Also of interest are the two Bontoc women’s belts, sangilot [Daalder, composed of conus shells strung on ikat cloth, that are very similar to the akosan or lightning belt of the Itneg, also from the Cordilleras of Luzon, shown in Anderson (2010: 391-92)]. With ethnographic research, one often has these issues of reconciling different interpretations or names; this also shows the benefit of having access to the literature.

The volumes on the Bir and Daalder collections are obviously invaluable for museum and university libraries, collectors and dealers, although the prices are daunting in these times of shrinking budgets for educational institutions.

Robert K. Liu

 

 

 

Augusto Panini 2007 Middle Eastern and Venetian Glass Beads. Eighth to Twentieth Centuries. Milan, Skira editore S.p.A.: 312 p., $106.

The author, through his thirty years in the textile business, traveled extensively to several West African countries during 1980 and 1992; especially noteworthy were research trips to Mali. His journeys along the bend of the Niger River, from Gao, Tin Essamed, Hombron, Boni, Semé to Mopti resulted in the most interesting section of the book, which shows beads (glass, shell, metal, even faience and clay whorls) and other ornaments and artifacts recovered from sites along this area, which ranged from the Neolithic (probably reused, due to the presence of iron attachments) to Islamic periods (Panini 2007: 15, 80-87). All images in this book, (including Malian peoples, bead traders, sites, and terrain) are well-photographed and reproduced, adding considerably to its value and appeal. While there is no full analysis of these rich finds from his research trips, the data exists in his archives; however, the selection of Islamic glass shown is the most comprehensive so far seen, well integrated into the context of West Africa by a thorough discussion of medieval Arab/Muslim trans-Saharan trade. While no one has yet attempted to survey the worldwide trade in Islamic glass beads, Panini has shown that Africa was a large recipient of this trade. The detailed captions on the Islamic glass beads do frequently indicate their find spots in Mali, often along the track of his trips in the Niger Bend. An additional section on extant bead sample cards provides perspective on the vast scale of the European glass bead types available for the later African trade. The thread of the West African trade in glass beads continues with a large display of Venetian and other European glass beads recovered from this trade, all captioned in the back of the book. The colonial trade of European glass beads had been detailed previously by the Picard monographs, so these individual beads and strands complement the earlier studies, last published on in 1993.

The reversal of the bead trade to Africa began in the late 1960s to early 1970s, with the main recipients being the United States, Europe and Japan. It continues to the present, although in a much reduced state, due to fewer available old beads. While no one has measured the social or economic impact of contemporary Africans selling off their beads, there have been serious archaeological consequences, from the looting of ancient sites in West Africa. It is hoped that the beauty of these glass beads does not further this destruction.

RKL

 

 

 

Eric Moltzau Anderson et al. 2010 In the Shape of Tradition. Indigenous Art of the Northern Philippines. Leiden, C.Zwartenkot Art Books: 415 p., $130.

The mountainous terrain of the Cordilleras of northern Luzon had the effect of similar geography in New Guinea or the islands of Indonesia in isolating their populations into numerous and complex cultures. While not having as much exposure as the other forementioned areas, the beads and ornaments of this part of the Philippines have been published upon frequently in Ornament by the late Peter Francis. Anderson and his colleagues have put together a monumental study of these tribal cultures, noting the difficulties of writing about material culture for which documentation is still not entirely firm. Beautifully illustrated with period images and artifacts, this large volume has chapters of particular interest to our readers: 4. Traditions and styles; 6. Textiles; 7. Basketry (hats and girdles are made by this technique); 8. Personal Adornment; 9. Weapons (bolos are hung from ginnutu, a belt of carved, graduated conus shell whorls); while 10. contains a section on the akosan or lightning belt, seen now and then on the ethnographic marketplace but never described as to its use. The chapters on textiles and jewelry are very comprehensive and will be useful to both researchers and collectors. For example, the lingling-o or pinanpanga ear pendants with horned mammals (322: 562, 563) strongly enforce the relationship to the bicephalic pendants of stone or glass found elsewhere in southeast Asia.

RKL

 

 

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Our upcoming issue 37.4 contains

 

Nubian Jewelry

Kate Mensah

Philadelphia Craft Show

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