The Kinship Between American Women Jewelers, Part I

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Curated by Mark McDonald and Sienna Patti, The Kinship Between features vintage works by three mid-century jewelers: Margaret De Patta, Ruth Roach and Betty Cooke and new work by four contemporary artists: Räissa Bump, Noam Elyashiv, Rebekah Frank and Gabriella Kiss. The show explores shared aspects of their craft as metalsmiths and the kinship between their ways of working and their design process as well as their shared use of form and material.

Mid-century Modernism extolled clean lines and bold, abstract geometric shapes, reflecting the democratic ideals that took root across the nation after the war. Exposure to the work of the Bauhaus School, constructivism and Scandinavian design led to an interest in this fresh, clean aesthetic.

What connects these seven jewelry artists is not just their aesthetic and material interests in modernism but their autonomy from the traditional jewelry industry. They did and do create pieces for an independent wearer, who is unconcerned with fitting into a prescribed feminine image. All of the artists in Kinship are both designer and maker of their jewelry, representing a strength of vision and clarity.

The exhibition will also highlight the unique kinship between maker and wearer with original design drawings and proposals to clients.

We are proud to be a part of NYC Jewelry Week 2018

I have a gravitational pull towards how humans express themselves and an interest in voice, especially the non-verbal kind. Jewelry fits quite wonderfully into the outward expression of our inner world.

Raïssa Bump

Bios

  • Margaret De Patta

    Margaret De Patta (1903–1964) was an American jewelry designer active in the mid-century jewelry movement. She was known for her innovative use of visual effects in her jewelry, such as light refraction, image reflection, and magnification, which she achieved through the design of her stones and the use of unusual textured surfaces. The first major retrospective of her work, Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta, opened at the Museum of Arts and Design in 2012.

  • Ruth Roach

    Ruth Roach (1896-1986) was an extraordinarily multitalented woman who made an improbable but significant impact on the art world during her relatively short career as an artist/jeweler. Roach worked both in sterling and gold, using many semi-precious stones. Each piece is well planned so that the clasps and chains become integral parts of her designs. Roach’s use of fused textures and her inimitable sense of design sets her jewelry apart to this day.

  • Betty Cooke

    Betty Cooke is a seminal figure in American Modernist studio jewelry. Born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1924, she has been designing and creating one-of-a-kind works and multiples since the 1940s, and continues to do so today. Cooke’s timeless forms and distinctive visual vocabulary merging architectural simplicity, geometry, logical proportion, and aesthetic clarity have earned her a prominent place within the canon of design history.

  • Raïssa Bump

    Raissa Bump studied jewelry at Rhode Island School of Design and Italy’s Alchimia School of Contemporary Jewelry. Inspired by the organic delicacy that is found in urban landscapes and the mathematics of the natural world, Bump makes both intricate one-of-a-kind pieces and beautiful collections of jewelry.

  • Noam Elyashiv

    Born and raised in Israel, Noam Elyashiv received her BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Elyashiv’s artwork derives from her interest in correlations and interactions between line, plane and volume. She captures the precision and linear quality of her drawings in metal.

  • Rebekah Frank

    Rebekah Frank received her BFA from Texas State University and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Originally trained as a blacksmith and welder, Frank uses basic materials that define space, such as steel chain and wire, to create pieces that are minimal, spacious, and geometrical.

  • Gabriella Kiss

    Gabriella Kiss’ delicate, figurative jewelry is at once poetic and scientific. Meticulously crafted in the finest materials, her precision reveals the awesome beauty of nature’s nuances. Kiss studied sculpture at New York’s Pratt Institute, learning to make wax models for casting, a technique that now defines her jewelry designs.