Joya 2017 skyscraper.
Hochschule Idar Oberstein.
Goldmuseum Taipei - Metal Crafts Competition 2018.

One-offs and series by Helga Zahn

Exhibition  /  24 Sep 2016  -  06 Nov 2016
Published: 03.10.2016
Kunstgalerie Altes Rathaus
Dr. Petra Hölscher
Silver bracelet by Helga Zahn.
Silver bracelet by Helga Zahn

© By the author. Read Copyright.

To mark her 80th birthday the town of Schwarzenbach an der Saale, in cooperation with Die Neue Sammlung and on the initiative of the Dr. Hans Viessmann Foundation, is honoring the extraordinary and pioneering jewelry artist.

Artist list

Helga Zahn
In the 1960s and 1970s she was considered one of the leading jewelry artists in Great Britain, but she was born in 1936 in Germany and grew up in Schwarzenbach on the River Saale at the foot of the Fichtel Mountains. In 1957 Helga Zahn left her hometown for the pulsating life in London, had a second home in New York and often traveled to Paris. She soon became one of the key figures in the “studio jewelry movement”, which began after World War II and was still in its infancy, which no longer saw jewelry as jeweler jewelry, but defined it as an innovative and independent art movement. Interestingly, Helga Zahn was self taught, and not a trained goldsmith.

Helga Zahn worked in silver, an inexpensive material not regarded highly by the establishment. It was not only unusual and unconventional that she should use unpolished pebbles, but also that she mounted them using simple adhesive bonds. Her formal language is characterized by the clarity of simple geometric shapes and by a palette that was initially limited to just a few colors, namely silver, black and brown. At the same time, in the mid-1960s she revolutionized the studio jewelry movement with an innovative system concept that envisaged the use of small cut panels. Mounting them on top of each other creates the impression of movement and transforms them into kinetic art.

The exhibition on the lifework of the artist, who died in 1985 at the age of just 49, features around 80 jewelry objects and a selection of her silkscreen prints. 

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog of 104 pages by Arnoldsche Art Publishers.

Book and exhibition created with funding from the Christian-Heinrich-Sandler-Stiftung, the Danner-Stiftung München, the Kulturverein Schwarzenbach a.d. Saale e.V., the Oberfrankenstiftung and the Gemeinnützige Stiftung der Sparkasse Hochfranken and special thanks to the Dr. Hans Vießmann-Stiftung, Hof.


Saturday and Sunday  14:00 - 18:00h
Tuesday and Thursday 18:00 - 20.00h
Phone the city council for alternative opening times: 0049 (0) 9284 933-31