René Lalique, Three Peonies Pendant Brooch, c. 1900. Gold, enamel, glass, diamond, Baroque pearl. Collection of Richard H. Driehaus. © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photograph by John Faier, © 2014 The Richard H. Driehaus Museum.

 

June 7 through August 30, 2020

Scheller and Fowler Galleries

Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry features more than two hundred pieces of jewelry and decorative objects that explore the significant role and impact of women on art jewelry design in the early twentieth century.

A segment of jewelry artisans at the turn of the century created striking and unique pieces for an artistically astute audience. These pieces had great appeal for those disheartened by the poor-quality, mass-produced items of the Industrial Revolution. Maker & Muse showcases jewelry from the United Kingdom, Europe (France, Austria, and Germany), and the United States (New York and Chicago). Art jewelry movements, such as Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau, saw the emergence of bold designs that pushed the boundaries of traditional jewelry design. Women influenced these artistic movements, either as muses for male designers or, for the first time, as designers themselves. A number of women achieved significant success and even opened their own workshops, where they employed other women as jewelers. This exhibition celebrates the connections between women and art jewelry.

Though each of the artistic styles in Maker & Muse drew inspiration from its own unique culture and history, each artist shared similar aesthetic ideals: They all sought to create jewelry with dramatic forms, using intricate craftsmanship, enamelwork, and semiprecious stones. Some women even achieved economic independence and empowerment through their work with art jewelry. The pieces in this exhibition are each exquisitely handwrought and provide a fascinating glimpse into the social, political, and economic realms in which they were made.

 

Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry was organized by the Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

 

Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry is supported through the generosity of the County of Lehigh.

 

The exhibition program at the Museum is supported through the generosity of the Harry C. Trexler Trust, Julius and Katheryn Hommer Foundation, The Century Fund, Bernard and Audrey Berman Foundation, Leon C. and June W. Holt Endowment, Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Friends of the Museum.