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Jewelry for America

Presented by Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art at The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, Winter Park FL

Feb 19 2020
Jewelry for America

Lecture by Beth Carver Wees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art will discuss the emergence of American jewelry houses in the 19th-century.

The earliest jewelry worn in America was of a sentimental nature, related to love and marriage or to death and mourning. In her lecture, Wees will discuss the domestic industry that began to take root in the nineteenth century against a backdrop of financial prosperity and technological progress. Newark, New Jersey, became home to countless manufacturers, and the iconic firms of Gorham and Tiffany & Co. were established. On New York’s Fifth Avenue, premier jewelers such as Tiffany & Co. and Cartier were joined by other high-end establishments, including Dreicer & Co., E. M. Gattle, Verdura, David Webb, and Raymond Yard. From about 1890 until the outbreak of World War I, Art Nouveau flourished across Europe and was emulated in this country. Many American jewelers of this era also turned to historical and exotic precedents for their sources, while almost simultaneously, Great Britain’s Arts and Crafts movement inspired American jewelers to create small-batch studio production. Wees will conclude her lecture with a brief look at mid-twentieth-century artists whose modernist designs paved the way for the innovative jewelry of contemporary practitioners, including Daniel Brush, William Harper, and Joyce J. Scott.



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