Jewelry of Ideas: Gifts from the Susan Grant Lewin Collection.

Exhibition  /  Collecting  /  17 Nov 2017  -  28 May 2018
Published: 02.11.2017

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Fall exhibition brings 150 avant-garde works to the public, showcasing the limitless potential of contemporary jewelry, with 150 unique and cutting-edge brooches, necklaces, bracelets and rings while also tracing evolutionary developments in jewelry from the mid-20th century to the present.
Works on view highlight the expressive and innovative achievements of renowned jewelers, ranging from works that make political statements, or social commentary by questioning traditional concepts of jewelry to those that create literal or symbolic narratives through an astounding array of unconventional materials and techniques.
It is with much gratitude that Cooper Hewitt has accepted this collection of modern and contemporary jewelry from a champion of the field, the Susan Grant Lewin Collection significantly expands the range and depth of Cooper Hewitt’s jewelry holdings to encompass the inventive approach of the studio jewelry movement and the impact of later groundbreaking conceptual and materials-driven contemporary jewelry design.
/ Caroline Baumann, director of the museum

The exhibition captures the diversity and achievement of modern and contemporary jewelry makers from  18 countries including the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, and Israel. Jewelry of Ideas presents works that draw inspiration from the human body or elements of nature as well as those of compelling geometric or organic abstraction.  Contained within a ring may be a history of the mathematical proportions of the Palladian villas of the Veneto, as in the case of Giampaolo Babetto. Within a bracelet may be a rejection of the cult of the precious, as seen in Otto Künzli’s “Gold Makes You Blind,” where an 18-karat gold ball is encased in a rubber bangle.
I have been collecting jewelry for decades and it only becomes more exciting as the field of conceptual jewelry design continues to flourish, I meet designers from around the world, so the collection is international in scope. I like to find the leaders and innovators -the most experimental jewelry designers- and I am thrilled that Cooper Hewitt is exposing their revolutionary work to the general public. / Susan Grant Lewin

The accompanying 176-page publication, authored by Ursula Ilse-Neuman, co-curator of the exhibition, will be published by Cooper Hewitt and distributed domestically by ARTBOOK | D.A.P. and internationally by Arnoldsche Art Publishers. Featuring hundreds of full-color illustrations, the catalog will explore the groundbreaking techniques and materials used by over 100 world-class jewelry designers, with their accompanying process statements. Retail price: $40.

The exhibition will also include a series of programs and workshops that explore topics in contemporary jewelry and how these jewelry makers have revolutionized the field, including a two-panel afternoon symposium (Nov. 17), a jewelry workshop (Nov. 18) and a Tea and Talk with prominent jewelry collectors (Dec. 12). For a complete roster of events, visit

Jewelry of Ideas: The Susan Grant Lewin Collection is made possible in part by the Rotasa Fund, Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), Gallery Loupe, Sienna Patti, William P. Short III, in memory of Nancy Jean Fulop Short, Helen W. Drutt English, and Kim and Al Eiber.

Artist List:
Giampaolo Babetto, Gijs Bakker, Friedrich Becker, Jamie Bennett, Doris Betz, David Bielander, Renzo Pasquale, Manfred Bischoff, Iris Bodemer, Helen Britton, Anton Cepka, Attai Chen, Betty Cooke, Johanna Dahm, Rian de Jong, Robert Ebendorf (in collaboration with Ivy Ross), Iris Eichenberg, Eva Eisler, Sandra Enterline, Claire Falkenstein, Arline Fisch, Jantje Fleischhut, Nora Fok, Donald Friedlich, Thomas Gentille, Arthur Hash, Hanna Hedman, Maria Hees, Herman Hermsen, Stefan Heuser, Peter Hoogeboom, John Iversen, Sergey Jivetin, Daniel Jocz, Svenja John, Herman Jünger, Beppe Kessler, Esther Knobel, Shana Kroiz, Daniel Kruger, Otto Künzli, Kristiina Laurits, Leslie Leupp, Keith Lo Bue, Stefano Marchetti, Bruno Martinazzi, Bruce Metcalf, Eleanor Moty, Kazumi Nagano, Ted Noten, Harold O'Connor, Ritsuko Ogura, Pavel Opočenský, Francesco Pavan, Ronald Hayes Pearson, Gaetano Pesce, Ruudt Peters, Karen Pontoppidan, Katja Prins, Ramón Puig Cuyàs, Wendy Ramshaw, Axel Russmeyer, Jiri Sibor, Vera Siemund, Kiff Slemmons, Art Smith, Ramona Solberg, Bettina Speckner, Lisa Spiros, Deganit Stern Schocken, Rachelle Thiewes, Sam Tho Duong, Frank Tjepkema, Georg Jensen Sølvsmedie, Felieke van der Leest, Emmy van Leersum, Giorgio Vigna, Lella Vignelli, Graziano Visintin, David Watkins, James Wines, Annamaria Zanella, Petra Zimmermann, Betty Cooke, Claire Falkenstein, Bettina Dittlmann, Michael Jank, Aric Verrastro.
Giampaolo Babetto. Brooch: Untitled, 1995. Gold, blue pigment.. 6.2 × 4 × 2.6 cm. Giampaolo Babetto
Brooch: Untitled, 1995
Gold, blue pigment.
6.2 × 4 × 2.6 cm
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Joyce Scott. Necklace: Untitled, 2016. Glass beads, thread (Peyote stitch technique).. 6.2 × 4 × 2.6 cm. Photo by: Matt Flynn. Joyce Scott
Necklace: Untitled, 2016
Glass beads, thread (Peyote stitch technique).
6.2 × 4 × 2.6 cm
Photo by: Matt Flynn
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Daniel Jocz. Set: Candy Wear, 2000. Copper, sterling silver, rayon flock.. Daniel Jocz
Set: Candy Wear, 2000
Copper, sterling silver, rayon flock.
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David Watkins. Bracelet: Gyro Bangle, 1976. Silver, lathe turned aluminium.. 1.2 × 12.5 × 10.5 cm. David Watkins
Bracelet: Gyro Bangle, 1976
Silver, lathe turned aluminium.
1.2 × 12.5 × 10.5 cm
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Torun Bülow-Hübe. Bracelet: Untitled, 1968. Silver, rutilated smoky quartz.. 6.2 × 6 × 5.5 cm. Manufactured by Georg Jensen Sølvsmedie (founded 1904).. Torun Bülow-Hübe
Bracelet: Untitled, 1968
Silver, rutilated smoky quartz.
6.2 × 6 × 5.5 cm
Manufactured by Georg Jensen Sølvsmedie (founded 1904).
© By the author. Read Copyright.