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In a couple of weeks some members of the AJF family will be off to Munich. I want to remind everyone who is going to be there - artists especially - that we have planned a special $80 no-host dinner at Cohen's on Friday March 16, 2012. Please be in touch if you can come.


Our AJF pin maker Ted Noten is a lively character. Have you heard his fascinating interview by Radio New Zealand in conjunction with a show at Objectspace in Auckland? The Jemposium symposium organized a large number of gallery shows in New Zealand in February and Objectspace included Ted in theirs. Have a listen: I think you will be entertained and learn something about the Little Princess pin. We'll also be featuring a review of Jemposium on the AJF website. Keep an eye out for that.


I believe in order to grow a healthy marketplace and culture with credibility you need three things: a strong secondary market; good critical and scholarly books and articles; and museum acquisitions that create legitimacy for the practice. Art jewelry doesn't have all those things yet but AJF is doing everything we can to support these aspects of a healthy contemporary jewelry scene. Our website is kicking ass! We are one of the very few places where you can read both timely reports and thoughtful, critical reviews of various events and issues taking place in the international contemporary jewelry world. Did you know that we publish new articles on the website and blog every few days? In case you missed them, we bring you some highlights in this newsletter.


We're also building our Bookstore on the AJF website and hope to eventually cover all of the major publications that document the rich and wonderful history of contemporary jewelry. Take a look. Plus if you purchase a book via the "purchase" link to Amazon from our site, AJF will get a small percentage of the sale . . . and we thank you for that. One more way to show your support for AJF. Try it out.



My best to all of you,


Susan Cummins

AJF Chair





This year SOFA NY is taking place on April 20-23, 2012, with the opening night on Thursday April 19, 2012. Soon you will be able to sign up for your VIP passes on their website. It will allow you access to all the VIP tours and, most importantly, entrance to the opening night - all for free! This offer is available to all AJF members, including Arts Professionals - makers, curators and writers. Please also plan to attend the following jewelry related events and talks.



On Saturday April 21 at 10 am, please join AJF for a walk through the jewelry galleries before the fair opens. Ursula Ilse-Neumann, our sponsored speaker and the jewelry curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) and Elyse Zorn Karlin, director of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA) will pick out their favorite jewelry at SOFA and discuss it. We will meet in the entry of the Armory at 10 am. To join us please RSVP by April 17.


At 11 am, following the SOFA tour, AJF and SNAG are co-sponsoring a talk by Ursula Ilse-Neumann, jewelry curator at MAD. She has recently co-curated a show called Space Light and Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta, which is currently at the Oakland Museum in California and will be opening at MAD in New York in June 2012. She will speak about this mid-century jeweler in a talk called 'The Transcendent Jewelry of Margaret de Patta: Vision in Motion.' Ursula says: 'Inspired by Bauhaus ideals and constructivist design, Margaret de Patta revolutionized jewelry in the post-World War II era with sophisticated designs that exemplified the concept of "vision in motion" championed by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy at the Chicago Bauhaus.' To read more about Margaret De Patta, see the current Metalsmith article titled 'Margaret De Patta: Pioneer of Modernism.'


Also on Saturday April 21, in the afternoon, SNAG is sponsoring a lecture by Georg Dobler, the prominent German jeweler. You won't want to miss that.


On Saturday evening at 7pm, you are all invited to join the AJF board for dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant called Vivolo, located only a few blocks from the SOFA fair. The no-host dinner will be reasonably priced - details will be forthcoming. Please contact Nancy at info@artjewelryforum.org if you would like to attend.


And last but not least, AJF member Sienna Gallery is organizing a special exhibit called Covet, which will also be on show at SOFA NY. 





This year COLLECT takes place from May 11-14, 2012. We are organizing a special event on the afternoon and evening of Saturday May 12 for AJF members and friends. Elizabeth Goring and Helen Carnac have arranged for a private tour, with Dr Louise Taylor, of Wendy Ramshaw's retrospective Room of Dreams at Somerset House. This will be followed by dinner. More details will be available in the April AJF newsletter.  



Cohen's RestaurantWe have reached capacity for the March 16 dinner at Cohen's and we're glad so many of you will be in Munich. Thank you to everyone who RSVP'd. As a reminder, cost is US $80 inclusive and we'd like to receive payment by March 11. Please mail your check to AJF (address below) or send us an email indicating your preference to pay via credit card. We'll contact you to collect the information.

We look forward to seeing you in Munich.


Geography Show Catalog

AJF is inviting applications for the 2012 Exhibition grant. We have a total of $7500 to give to any museum, university and other non-profit exhibition spaces or organization that is tax-exempt in the United States under Section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code. Your exhibition needs to be opening within the next two years and the grant may cover exhibition or catalog expenses. The deadline for submission is March 15, 2012. You can find out more about the program and the requirements on the AJF website.

Atelier JaniyeThe 2010 award was given to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, to supportpublication of a catalog for Atelier Janiye and the Legacy of Miya Matsukata. In 2011, the exhibition award helped fund the catalog for Geography, an exhibition organized by AJF of work from AJF member galleries, which was shown in May 2011 at the Society of North American Goldsmiths Conference in Seattle and in November 2011 at SOFA Chicago.

Oakland Museum Tour 
Marion Fulk


A day of art jewelry, featuring work from the last seven decades, drew devotees to the San Francisco Bay Area on Wednesday February 8, 2012. The day began at the home of Susan Cummins and Rose Roven, in Tiburon. A dozen collectors and enthusiasts viewed selections from the collection and considered the themes and artists represented in it. Susan said her collecting began with the work of German artist Dorothea Pruhl and she displayed several pieces by Pruhl, all made of wood, which had been carved and shaped by the artist. Other artists included Ruudt Peters, Georg Dobler, Lisa Walker, Kiff Slemmons, Jennifer Trask, Herman Junger, Verena Sieber-Fuchs and Tina Rath.


The jewelry, outstanding as it was, had to compete with the view of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, the city of San Francisco and the surrounding hills, all visible from Susan and Rose's contemporary new home. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the views, while warm-hued wood walls and deep overhangs soften the angular glass. How do you house a jewelry collection in a modern, minimalist house? In drawers and cases that are subtly and unobtrusively built into the walls, but are designed with shelves that lift out for easy viewing of the art.


After lunch, the group drove to the Oakland Museum, to see Space, Light and Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta. The show was jointly organized by the Oakland Museum and the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York and will travel to the MAD later this year. Julie Muñiz, who co-curated the exhibit, walked the group through the gallery, talking about De Patta's techniques, use of stones and personal history. The show is informative and beautiful and features many of De Patta's one-of-a-kind pieces, as well as those from her production line.


VdV De Patta Project

From there, we motored to San Francisco, to AJF member gallery Velvet da Vinci. The gallery was featuring a show tied to the De Patta exhibit called The De Patta Project, in which various contemporary jewelers used stones that had once belonged to De Patta to create their own pieces, but with a stylistic nod to De Patta's work. Perhaps it was the effect of looking at so much great jewelry that got the group into the buying mood; few left empty handed.


To complete the day, we returned to Tiburon, to the home of Susan and Bill Beech. There more fabulous jewelry was on display throughout the house. Again, it was a toss up: look at the fabulous view (now at sunset) or the jewels? It was interesting to see the similarities and differences between these two outstanding collections, housed within two miles of each other. These are two of the best private art jewelry collections in the United States, so not surprisingly there was some overlap in the artists represented. But each collection had its own spirit and emphasis. Susan Beech's leans more to the humorous and risqué, reflecting her wonderful sense of humor. Susan Cummins's collection is perhaps more academic and slightly more encyclopedic. Susan Beech appears to favor darker colors; both have Americans, Asians and Europeans in their collections. Susan Beech is more likely to wear her jewelry than Susan Cummins and this likely affects the choices each makes in adding pieces to her collection. Both said they tried to collect jewelers in at least some depth: rather than have one piece by every artist, they both preferred to have fewer names and more work by each artist.


The group ate dinner with the Beeches, talked at length and then adjourned. A wonderful time was had by all. Thanks very much to Susan Cummins and Susan Beech for sharing their collections with us. It was a wonderful day!


Feb 8 AJF Group 





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Thank you to everyone who signed up - it's going to be a great trip. We are finishing up the travel packages and will send those out within the next few days.

Even though the sign up deadline has come and gone, if you find you can no longer resist, we can still squeeze you in. Send Nancy a quick email to let us know.


In each newsletter we will introduce you to one of the galleries that has joined AJF to support and promote contemporary jewelry. This month's AJF Questionnaire has been answered by Felix Flury of Galerie S O, London and Solothurn.


You have two galleries, one in Solothurn, Switzerland, and one in London. Which came first, and what made you decide to open the second one?

I opened the gallery in Solothurn first in 2003. Thanks to my time in London where I studied at the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, now the Metropolitan University (silversmithing) and at the RCA (MA in Metalwork and Jewelry) I gained or maintained a strong link with London. Read more...

The new website features six member galleries on the home page that have exhibitions of note each month. They will rotate throughout the year, so you will get a good survey of what's on around the globe. This month we feature the following galleries (click photos for more info):


 Bob Ebendorf SCCPlatina Marta Mattsson  Signature Shop Raissa Bump  Ulrich ReithoferGalerie Pont en Plas, Gesine Hackenberg Galerie Rosemarie Jager


Society for Contemporary Craft: Transformation 8

Platina: Märta Mattsson, Forever Dead

The Signature Shop and Gallery: Generosity of Spirit: The Penland School

Caroline Van Hoek: Ulrich Reithofer, A Curse of Symmetry

Galerie Pont en Plas: Gésine Hackenberg, Still Lifes

Galerie Rosemarie Jäger: Anne Fischer, Juliane Schölß, Ja-kyung Shin



Jewels Gems and TreasuresBen UlshElise WintersDavid Huang



  Kiff Slemmons  Octavia Cook  Brooke Marks-Swanson  Terhi Tolvanen



In the past month on the blog you will find interviews with the artists or dealers whose exhibitions are featured on the front page of the website. You will find Valentine's Day offers, paper jewelry, Obsession, Color and Form, Introductions and Traces of Function and a clever take off on Margaret De Patta's jewelry. The Maker's Tools continued with a reamer. Kevin Murray responded to Bruce Metcalf about ethical jewelryAnd we started a new series called Curator's Choice.



Brigid O'Hanrahan Reamer  Roseanne Bartley Nancy Worden



Knitted, Knotted, Twisted & Twined: The Jewelry of Mary Lee Hu

February 7 - June 17, 2012

Bellevue Arts Museum


Hanging Around: Necklaces from the MAD Collection

January 24 - May 21, 2012

Museum of Arts and Design, New York


Jewels, Gems, and Treasures: Ancient to Modern

July 19, 2011 - July 1, 2014

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


International Art Jewelry: 1895-1925

To March 17, 2012

The Forbes Galleries, New York


Out on a Limb: Contemporary Wood Jewelry

February 26 - June 17, 2012

Racine Art Museum 


On the home page of our new website we have a changing list of the interesting, strange and wonderful ways that contemporary jewelry is hitting the headlines. Why not find out what has been attracting our curiosity at AJF Recommends . . .