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May 2008


Welcome to new AJF members Kathy Emerson and Katie Ukrop, co-owners of Quirk Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. AJF member Elizabeth Shypertt of Velvet da Vinci met Kathy at the SNAG Conference in Savannah and clearly was successful in promoting AJF membership!

We also welcome the following new members: Kelly L'Ecuyer, curator, Museum of Fine Art, Boston, MA; Ellie MacNish, Albuquerque, NM; Melissa Post, curator, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA; Ruth Edelson, Westport, CT; and Marna Clark, Berkeley, CA.

We've loaded this issue of AJFconnection with information, images and links to great websites. Save this e-newsletter for future reference. You're going to want to come back to it again and again. Indulge your passion!

Your AJF Board
Susan, Sally, Pat, Susan and Jane

in this issue
  • Susan Kempin Talks Jewelry
  • Mark Your Calendars -- NYC Trip in the Works
  • Newark Museum Deepens Jewelry Collection
  • Karen Lorene Publishes "Signs of Life"
  • Hot Topics
  • Hot Spots

  • Mark Your Calendars -- NYC Trip in the Works
    Art Smith

    AJF Board member Susan Kempin and her committee (Gail Hufjay, Bonnie Levine, and Jane Shannon) are making plans for this year's AJF trip to New York City from Thursday, Oct. 2, through Sunday, Oct. 5.

    Plans include visiting the new Museum of Arts and Design, where curator Ursula Neuman will give us a tour and a presentation on collecting art jewelry. We'll also visit curator Jane Adlin at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see their new jewelry acquisitions from Donna Schneier.

    We'll meet with Charon Kransen for breakfast at the International Arts + Design Fair where author Toni Greenbaum will take us on a special jewelry tour. We'll enjoy cocktails at Aaron Faber Gallery, exhibiting work by Michael Zobel, courtesy of Patricia Faber. Plus, we'll visit the Brooklyn Museum to see an exhibit entitled "From the Village to Vogue: The Modernist Jewelry of Art Smith".

    Watch your inbox, you'll receive itinerary details, hotel information, and how to sign up via email in June.

    Newark Museum Deepens Jewelry Collection

    AJF members are invited to a private tour of a wonderful exhibition now showing at the Newark Art Museum: WOMEN'S TALES: Four Leading Israeli Jewelers. The tour will be given by the museum's Curator of Decorative Arts, Ulysses Grant Dietz, on Sunday, June 1st at 1 pm.

    For those of you who will be in town for SOFA, it will be an exciting opportunity to see the remarkable work of Bianca Eshel-Gershuni, Vered Kaminski, Esther Knobel and Deganit Stern Schocker -- four renowned artists who have greatly informed the international art jewelry world. Gallery Loupe will arrange for transportation to the Newark Museum from SOFA/ Park Avenue Armory. If you are interested in participating in the tour, please contact Patti at Gallery Loupe: or call 973.744.0061.

    Since producing the exhibition and catalogue on Newark, New Jersey's own jewelry industry in 1997, The Newark Museum has begun to seriously collect jewelry of all sorts to amplify its already very large holdings. The Museum has actually been collecting and exhibiting jewelry since 1912, but only in the past decade has it begun considering being more intentional and strategic in its jewelry acquisitions.

    Part of this strategic collecting has been to acquire significant examples of 20th-century jewelry from arts and crafts to art deco, as well as contemporary studio jewelry, including masterworks by American and European studio jewelers such as Bill Harper, Wendy Ramshaw, Joyce Scott, Earl Pardon, Giovanni Corvaja and Liv Blavarp.

    Karen Lorene Publishes "Signs of Life"
    Kiwon Wang

    AJF member Karen Lorene, owner of Facere Gallery in Seattle, just published the fourth issue of Signs of Life magazine, which she shares with her clients and AJF members. It is an effort she is passionate about, yet she says "my accountant thinks I'm crazy."

    Signs of Life pairs photographs of original jewelry with original writing. Each piece literally served as inspiration for the work of each writer, and the results are quite intriguing. Take a peek.

    If you want to know more about Karen, you have only to visit the Facere website. In the "About" section where most galleries give a little bio of the owner(s), you'll find Karen's ongoing novel of how she came to be where she is today. It is inspiring, funny, sad, memorable, and a complete reflection of this wonderful, accomplished woman. It's also some of the best writing you've read in a long time.

    Hot Topics
    Craft Debate

    Fireworks in the Craft Blogishpere
    In March of this year Bruce Metcalf, jewelry/writer, and Andrew Wagner, editor of American Craft Magazine, gave a talk at the SNAG conference in Savannah, GA. The contents of the talk stirred a lot of discussion and controversy. We've posted their presentation and links to many of the blogs on our website. See what you think, click here.

    Moving into the Mainstream Piece by Piece
    You will want to see the May issue of Art + Auction, which features an article by Lindsay Pollack about contemporary art jewelry, including comments from a number of AJF members. Click here to read this wonderful article.

    Hot Spots

    Sculpture Transformed: The Work of Marjorie Schick, Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, MA, now through September 14, 2008. The exhibit includes 67 "body sculpture" objects that demonstrate Marjorie's experimentation with form, texture, and color. For more information, click here.

    Wiener Werkstätte Jewelry, Neue Galerie, New York, NY, now through September 1, 2008, features 40 pieces plus drawings and photographs of prominent clients. Wiener Werkstatte (Vienna Workshops) was established in 1903 by Josef Hoffmann and Koloman Moser, subscribers of English Arts and Crafts ideals. An illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibit. Click here for more information.

    American Modernist Jewelry - 1940 to 1970, Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN, now through August 24, 2008, brings together 280 pieces representing the work of more than 90 artists, the pioneers who created the groundwork for contemporary art jewelry. The exhibit was guest curated by Marbeth Schon and coincides with the publication of her new book, Form & Function: The Evolution of American Modernist Jewelry, 1940-1970. For more information, click here.

    Calder Jewelry, now through June 15, 2008, at the Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL, and moving to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, from July 12 to November 2, 2008, and then to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, from December 9, 2008, to March 1, 2009. This exhibit features nearly 70 works -- bracelets, necklaces, earrings, brooches, and tiaras -- as well as several notebooks of Calder's working drawings. A companion hardcover book, Calder Jewelry, is available discounted at Details about this exhibition and many other decorative arts shows can be found at

    Susan Kempin Talks Jewelry
    Susan Kempin

    AJF Board Member Susan Kempin describes her journey to becoming an art jewelry collector "as a 'long and winding road,' to quote the Beatles."

    Susan began collecting antiques while in nursing school and then "when I moved to New York City, where space is limited, I realized I needed to contain my collecting," she sighs. "Jewelry is small," she cleverly reasoned, "and it doesn't take up much space, so I thought I could collect a lot of it, yet I felt I needed a niche."

    Fast forward to California. "While I was living there, I took Christie Romero's Antique and Period Jewelry Course. Christie is a wonderful teacher and guide, and she introduced me to the American Society of Jewelry Historians, where I continue to be a member, and to [AJF member] Karen Lorene's gallery, Facere, where I treated myself to my first purchase of contemporary art jewelry 10 years ago."

    "Next, I was off to Jewelry Camp, a week-long series of lectures and workshops about jewelry," Susan continues. "It was there I saw work by Calder, Braque, Man Ray -- fabulous pieces, but clearly out of my reach."

    "The next year, I went to a lecture given by William Harper, and that was my Ah-Ha moment," she notes. "I'd never heard of William Harper or his work, yet I left the lecture eager to learn more."

    "When I asked Christie where I could find books about art jewelry, she told me to contact [AJF member] Charon Kransen," Susan says, "and I credit Charon for completing my transformation to a serious collector."

    When Susan thinks about her purchases over the years, these images come to mind: "A cat sitting up with its paw out, holding a can of Pet milk, by Roberta and David Williamson; a brooch of slumped glass by Julie Mihalisin that is beautiful and simple and elegant: and her favorite piece, a brooch by Giovanni Corvaja.

    She describes the Corvaja brooch, "I had read about his work in Metalsmith and couldn't get it out of my mind. I feel serene, at peace, when I look at this piece because I find it so remarkably beautiful. I have a weakness for artists from the Padua school, and also have a bracelet by Stefano Marchetti and a necklace by Daniella Boreri."

    She describes the Corvaja brooch," I had read about his work in Metalsmith and couldn't get it out of my mind. I feel serene, at peace, when I look at this piece because I find it so remarkably beautiful. I have a weakness for artists from the Padua school, and also have a bracelet by Stefano Marchetti and a necklace by Daniella Boreri."

    Susan's interview is continued on the AJF website. Click here.


    • Susan Kempin, Jewelry Collector and AJF Board Member
    • Giovanni Corvaja, Brooch 18k gold, 24k gold and platinum wire, 5 x 5 x 2.5cm
    • Art Smith, "Modern Cuff" Bracelet, circa 1948, sterling silver
    • Vered Kaminski, Necklace, 1991,18k gold and stones,19 1/8 x 3/4 x ¾", Courtesy of the artist, Photography: Michael Tropea, Chicago
    • Kiwon Wang, "Fabric of Life" Brooch, 2008, sterling silver, silk thread, pearl, ping pong ball, washi paper, ink, and lacquer, 1.75 x 1.75 x 3"
    • Bruce Metcalf and Rock Band Photo Collage from web blog.
    • Exhibition Catalog, "Sculpture Transformed: The Work of Marjorie Schick"

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