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The Art of Contemporary Jewelry:
Symposium on April 12
April 10, 2008


Claus Bury, German, born 1946, Ring, 1970, Gold and perspex acrylic, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Helen Williams Drutt Collection, museum purchase with funds provided by the Mary Kathryn Lynch Kurtz Charitable Lead Trust, 2002.3661, © Claus Bury

"Don't call me a collector," Helen Williams Drutt said recently to an audience at the Renwick Gallery who came to view the exhibition Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection, "I consider myself an educator." But everywhere you turned in the gallery, you could see the dazzling and unexpected results of Drutt's more than forty years spent acquiring contemporary and modern jewelry. Wearable art has been Drutt's passion, beginning with her response to the resurgence of the craft movement in America right after World War II. Living in Philadelphia, Drutt had her finger on the pulse of the new, tracking emerging artists and new ideas both within and outside the city. "The resurgence began to produce works of art that had the same credibility as painting, as sculpture, as architecture, and even more than photography at that time. Artists were also beginning to enter into the educational system. Suddenly Philadelphia's college and universities began to engage major craftsmen in their art departments and works began to flood into the city," Drutt added. Drutt was on the cusp of the new movement in art jewelry and took an active role in promoting and sustaining it. She became a force not only in Philadelphia and this country, but also in the burgeoning movement that began to reach out to artists from Europe and elsewhere, who, in turn, influenced artists here.

On Saturday, April 12, from 10:00 am to 12:30 p.m., join Drutt and four internationally renowned artists who have worked with her in the past—Americans Robin Kranitzky and Kim Overstreet, Australian Robert Baines and German Claus Bury—for A Grand Passion: Global Perspectives on Contemporary Art Jewelry. The artists work in various media and produce works of astounding beauty and variety, from the real to the surreal, and everything in between.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the James Renwick Alliance, is free and open to the public; no registration is required. It will be held in the McEvoy Auditorium at SAAM (8th and F Streets NW).

Posted by Howard on April 10, 2008 in American Art Here, Lectures on American Art


Helen Drutt has a wonderful collection, and I wish I had had the opportunity to see this show in person.

Good jewelry!

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