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Press Release                                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Racine, WI     September 3, 2009
The Racine Art Museum Debuts Donna Schneier Art Jewelry Gift

Schneier Jewelry

The Racine Art Museum (RAM) is excited to announce the debut of a 49-piece gift donated by internationally known Art Jewelry collector, Donna Schneier. Open September 4, 2009 through January 3, 2010, The Donna Schneier Collection Arrives at RAM: Art Jewelry of the 1980s and 1990s introduces important American and European artists working in both precious metals and non-precious recycled materials.

This is the second in an ongoing series of exhibitions at RAM that debuts the acquisition of major collections of artworks. To welcome this gift, the museum is featuring these new arrivals with pieces already in RAM's collection by the same artists. Through these shows, RAM demonstrates its goal of collecting artists' works throughout their careers in greater depth than most museums. The Donna Schneier Collection exhibition also places the new Art Jewelry within the context of RAM's existing holdings of handmade jewelry of the 20th century.

In 2008, Schneier presented gifts of jewelry created in the 1980s and 1990s to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and RAM. Schneier acquired works documenting the two major approaches to Art Jewelry in the late 20th century-works in precious materials and adornment created in non-precious materials and found objects. While Schneier's gift to the Metropolitan focuses more on precious materials, her gift to RAM focuses more on non-precious materials, including jewelry created by recognized furniture makers, ceramists and fiber artists. By including sculptures, furniture and textiles, RAM will demonstrate how artists working in a variety of media, bring new concepts to the field of personal adornment.

Schneier's gift includes the work of more than twenty American artists, significantly augmenting RAM's in-depth holdings of the work of jewelers like Carolyn Morris Bach, Arline M. Fisch, Bruce Metcalf, and Kiff Slemmons. The gift also provides the first example of jewelry by Myra Mimlitsch-Gray, June Schwarcz and Christina Y. Smith who, until now, have been represented in the museum's collection solely by their hollowware. Schneier's gift also includes several European leaders of the New Jewelry movement. Since RAM's holdings are largely American, the introduction of works by European masters like Bussi Buhs, Paul Derrez, Fritz Maierhofer, and Tone Viglund will be instrumental in encouraging further expansion of RAM's collection into the European arena. Jewelry by ceramic artist Beatrice Wood, fiber artist Shelia Hicks and furniture maker Garry Knox Bennett further enhances RAM's jewelry collection to the broader field of contemporary crafts.

On Sunday, September 13 from 2:00 - 4:00 pm, Ms. Schneier together with ceramic artist Michael Lucero will be present for a gallery talk and interview conducted by RAM Executive Director, Bruce W. Pepich. This rare opportunity allows visitors to hear how and why this influential collector began collecting handmade jewelry, why she chose to gift her collection and what her contribution to the Art Jewelry movement means to artists such as Lucero. The event is free with paid museum admission and includes a collection study guide. RAM Members are free.

The collection study guide features an in-depth interview with Ms. Schneier along with color images of some the pieces gifted to RAM's permanent collection. The 20-page guide is also available to purchase for $5 plus shipping by calling the RAM Museum Store at 262.638.8200.

The Donna Schneier Collection is a gift of Donna Schneier and her husband Leonard Goldberg.

This exhibition is made possible by: Presenting Sponsors - Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, RAM Society Members, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., The Hearst Foundation, Inc. and Windgate Charitable Foundation; Gold Sponsors - Racine United Arts Fund and Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsor - E. C. Styberg Foundation, Inc.

Together, the two campuses of the Racine Art Museum, RAM in downtown Racine at 441 Main Street and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts at 2519 Northwestern Avenue, seek to elevate the stature of contemporary crafts to that of fine art by exhibiting significant works in craft media with painting, sculpture and photography, while providing outstanding educational art programming.

Docent led contemporary craft and architectural tours of the museums are available. Both campuses of the Racine Art Museum, are open to the public Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and are closed Mondays, Federal holidays and Easter. RAM is open Sunday Noon - 5:00 pm, while Wustum is closed Sundays. An admission fee of $5 for adults, with reduced fees for students and seniors, applies at RAM. Admission to Wustum is free. Members are always admitted without charge to either campus.

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For more information or to request images, please contact:

Laura Gillespie
RAM Marketing Assistant
262.638.8300 x 114

Above Center: Christine Y. Smith, Neckpiece with Amulets, c. 1995, Sterling Silver, Racine Art Museum, The Donna Schneier Jewelry Collection, Gift of Donna Schneier and Leonard Goldberg, Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine, WI