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In Flux. American Jewelry and the Counterculture

Published: 16.11.2020
In Flux. American Jewelry and the Counterculture.
Susan Cummins
Damian Skiner
Cindi Strauss
Mail:
presseE-mailarnoldsche.com
Edited by:
Arnoldsche Art Publishers
Edited at:
Stuttgart
Edited on:
2020
Technical data:
184 pages; Flexibind; 126 ilustrations; English; 17 x 25 cm
ISBN / ISSN:
978-3-89790-597-9
Price: 
from 28 €
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Website Arnoldsche Art Publisher
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Intro
In Flux provides revealing insights into the highly dynamic yet little researched period of American studio jewelry and contextualizes the political jewelry of its time with world events and the rise of the counterculture associated with it. A fascinating book for all those interested in art jewelry and more recent American cultural history.
In the 1960s and 1970s, a generation of young Americans rejected the promise of prosperity and the suburban dream embraced by their parents. Opposed to the war in Vietnam, they also fought for civil rights at home, explored psychedelic drugs, and discovered the delights of free love and the mystical teachings of eastern religions. Thousands followed the advice to “turn on, tune in, drop out” and in doing so created an alternative blueprint to the mainstream, a counterculture that would go on to bring about lasting change, not just to American society.

This evolution found its way into the studio of many American jewelers, affecting the way they lived, loved, and worked. The handcrafted and authentic postulated by the counterculture soon went on to inform studio jewelry. The works hold a mirror up to American history and Pop culture in equal measure, addressing US warfare and sexual liberation. On the other hand, Native American and Afro American influences are reflected in their aesthetic and choice of materials. They are counter-narratives that become public statements in the form of rings, bangles, brooches, and necklaces.

Attractively designed with visual references to the time, the essays in this richly illustrated book tell of how this jewelry contributed to the contradictory and enthusiastic clamor for a new kind of society, one which made the 1960s and 1970s so extraordinary. It also sheds light on the imaginative worlds and working methods of many well-known and rediscovered American jewelry designers. An approach to an America in the time of the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and free love, seen from a hitherto unchartered perspective.

Selected Artists
Harriete Estel Berman, William Clark, Sharon Church, Ken Cory, Jim Cotter, Robert Ebendorf, Arline Fisch, L. Brent Kington, Sam Kramer, Carolyn Kriegman, David LaPlantz, Leslie LePere, Karen McCreary, Thomas Mann, Richard Mawdsley, Bruce Metcalf, Evangeline J. Montgomery, Louis Mueller, Mary Ann Scherr, Joyce J. Scott, Ramona Solberg, Tamara Karla Surendorf, Don Tompkins, Merrily Tompkins, Lynda Watson, J. Fred Woell, Nancy Worden.

About the author

Susan Cummins has been involved in numerous ways in the visual arts world over the last 35 years, from working in a pottery studio, doing street fairs, running a retail shop called the Firework in Mill Valley and developing the Susan Cummins Gallery into a nationally recognized venue for regional art and contemporary art jewelry. Now she spends most of her time working as a board member of AJF and California College of the Arts.

Damian Skinner is an independent curator and art historian who lives in New Zealand. He was the founding editor of the Art Jewelry Forum website. Skinner has written about contemporary jewelry in New Zealand and internationally. His books include Given: Jewellery by Warwick Freeman (Starform, 2004), Alan Preston: Between Tides (Godwit, 2008), and Kobi Bosshard: Goldsmith (David Bateman, 2012), surveys of senior New Zealand contemporary jewellers, and the Pocket Guide to New Zealand Jewelry (Velvet da Vinci, 2010), a catalogue accompanying the American touring exhibition of the same name. He was the editor of Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective (Lark Books, 2013), a multi-author survey of the contemporary jewelry fi eld. He is the co-author of Place and Adornment: A History of Contemporary Jewellery in Australasia (David Bateman, September 2014). Currently he is leading the research project on the Inge Asenbaum Collection, which was acquired by the Dallas Museum of Art in Texas.

Cindi Strauss is the Sara and Bill Morgan Curator of Decorative Arts, Craft, and Design and Assistant Director, Programming at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. At the MFAH, Cindi is responsible for the acquisition, research, publication, and exhibition of post-1900 decorative arts, design, and craft. At the MFAH, her publications and exhibitions on studio jewelry include Ornament as Art: Contemporary Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection (2007); Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle Collection (2014). She was also a contributor to Shows and Tales: On Jewelry Exhibition-Making (2015) and has regularly authored articles for Metalsmith magazine. Ms. Strauss has also been a frequent lecturer on jewelry topics at museums nationwide.
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