No.18 February 2008

It's time to renew your AJF membership. If you've done so already, thank you. If you haven't, please spend a few minutes doing that now. We now provide even more ways for you to contribute and support the field of contemporary art jewelry if you choose.

You can now renew online via secure and safe Pay Pal. This is an environmentally friendly step you can take so AJF won't need to mail you a paper reminder and form and return envelope that then needs to be recycled. Please click here now and renew. Thank you.

Jane Shannon,
Editor, AJFconnection

In this issue:

  • Fond Memories of Don Newman
  • New Group formed to Study Jewelry
  • See Museum Goers Trying on the Jewelry
  • Several AJF Members Attend COLLECT
  • Add to Your Calendar

Fond Memories of Don Newman
Don and Rita

Rita Newman recently shared the sad news that her husband Don died this past November. AJF members who went on the trips to Milwaukee, California, Boston, and Houston will remember the Newmans as wonderful role models for what a partnership should be.

Rita says she's grateful for the 50 years they had together. We're grateful to have shared just a speck of that time.

Here, two AJF members share memories of Don.

Susan Cummins remembers, "Rita and Don Newman came to my gallery together years ago and impressed me as one of the more gracious and thoughtful couples to cross my threshold. I enjoyed talking with them both about the work, and they consistently bought the best and often the most challenging pieces.

"When AJF started, I invited all my clients who were interested in jewelry to join, and the Newmans were among those who did.

"Then I began to see them both on trips and got to know them better. While I always think of them as Rita and Don, the couple, it was Rita who had the eye, and I think was the instigator, while Don enjoyed the adventure.

"He was a pilot and a traveler, and I often found myself comparing the latest technical gadgets -- especially cell phones -- with him on the bus trips. He was one of the only men to travel with the group on a regular basis, and I was always delighted to see how at ease he was among women. He was a man who was truly comfortable in his skin, and I will sorely miss him."

Rika Mouw remembers, "Don was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. I don't think I have met a man more warm and gracious, generous and embracing than Don. He was a man of great taste and distinction while demonstrating such great humility and strength. I delighted in his wonderful sense of humor.

"Since meeting Don and Rita on the Wisconsin trip, I have admired, and been inspired by, their partnership. Each subsequent trip I have had the great fortune to share with them has been truly enriched by their presence. No matter how tired or uncomfortable he might have been, Don never called attention to himself, he always had a smile and something nice to say.

"Don holds a very, very special place in my heart and I know I am not alone in saying I feel a genuine love for this noble gentle man. He is truly one of the most delightful people I have ever met."

New Group Formed to Study Jewelry

The publisher of Adornment magazine, Elyse Zorn Karlin, has formed a new venture called the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA). The association will promote jewelry studies in schools and museums and plans to give scholarships to students interested in the history of jewelry. Yvonne Markowitz, jewelry curator, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will work with Elyse to achieve the association's goals.

Elyse and Yvonne are currently collaborating on a book about the jewelry of American First Ladies. They have also written a book that will accompany a Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, exhibit entitled Imperishable Beauty: Art Nouveau Jewelry, to be published this summer.

They plan to host an annual conference as a forum for curators, historians, and scholars to present information about jewelry. In addition, ASJRA is currently building a website with useful information for people interested in jewelry studies. The long-term goal is to present online rare or out-of-print images and information. See

See Museum Goers Trying on the Jewelry

A recent e-mail newsletter produced by The Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR, included the following link to see a variety of real people enjoying the real jewelry in the Touching Warms the Art exhibit. To peek in on the fun, click emporarycraft/sets/72157603749105315.

Several AJF members attend COLLECT

A lucky few AJF members braved the unfavorable currency exchange and headed for London last month to COLLECT. Thanks to Susan Cummins, we have photos; thanks to Elizabeth Shypertt, some insights.

"COLLECT has the most impressive group of European art jewelry I have ever seen in one place," says Elizabeth Shypertt, "and the setting in the Victoria and Albert Museum is fabulous. Many of the artists showing in the different galleries were present, which was great fun. It's always nice to put a face to a name."

Add to Your Calendar

Here are two new entries to the calendar section of the AJF website. The calendar is updated weekly, so check it often to see what's happening where.

A Grand Tour of American Craft -- Apr.11-13, The James Renwick Alliance, Washington, DC. Held to coincide with the Smithsonian Craft Fair (where Andrea Janosik, the 2007 AJF Emerging Artist will show her work, an example is above), as well as the Renwick Gallery's exhibit of Helen Williams Drutt's collection, the Grand Tour includes a symposium titled Grand Adornment: Contemporary Art Jewelry Evolution and Influence, moderated by curator Jane Milosch, as well as a silent auction of jewelry at the Saturday gala dinner for members, and a Sunday Brunch for Distinguished Educators, honoring among others, jeweler and professor Sharon Church, Crafts Department, University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Some events are for members only; some are open to the public. For more information, call 301-907-3888 or see

Golden Clogs, Dutch Mountains -- Mar. 6-Apr. 20, Galerie Noel Guyomarc'h, 137 Laurier Ouest, Montréal, Quebec.


  1. Andrea Janosik, Orange Broach, sterling silver and leather, 4.25" H x 4.50" W x .075" D, 2008
  2. Rita and Don Newman
  3. Elizabeth Shypertt, right, with her friend Jane Adam, jewelry artist and Crafts Council board member, at the shop in the V&A.
  4. Robert Smit, Susan Beech, Evert Nijland, and Louise Smit in Louise's gallery display.
  5. Susan Beech with Paul Derrez at Galerie Ra's display.
  6. Galerie Marzee's display.
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