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Ädellab - The State of Things
at the National Design Museum

One thing I can say for sure is, if you love art jewelry and want to reaffirm that it is vital and has an important history, go to Schmuck in Munich. The AJF trip last month was fantastic and energizing. (Bella Neyman, one of the trip participants, has started writing about it on her blog Object Not Paintings and there are photos on AJF's Facebook page.) It is the meeting place for an international group of collectors, curators, gallerists and makers and so we fit right in. The tone, set by the long tradition of making at the Akademie der Bildenden Künst München, is serious. The Germans speak about art jewelry with intelligence and passion and they are committed to documenting everything possible. I have come away from the visits to studios, shows and museums appreciating the power of jewelry anew and carrying a suitcase full of books. AJF has a number of European galleries and makers we can count as members and I was happy to see them all again - plus we added a few.

At Helen Britton's studio


Coming up this month is SOFA and AJF has organized a number of events for your enjoyment. Our member galleries Aaron Faber, Charon Kransen, Donna Schneier, Gallery Loupe, Ornamentum, Sienna Gallery and Snyderman-Works will all be there. See below for more information.


Did you know that we are publishing one critical article a week on our website? AJF is in the unique position of being able to ask independent writers to take a serious look at events, exhibitions, conferences, books and objects in the contemporary jewelry field and to review them to see if they accomplish what they set out to do. Because we have your support we can do this freely. For that, we thank you.


Platina @ Schmuck
At Frame

On the blog we publish two or three articles a week. All six galleries featured on the home page have been given the opportunity to be interviewed about their exhibits. These are the voices and thoughts of the community of makers and gallerists. And then, just to keep things lively, I have been asking curators, collectors and makers about their favorite tools or pieces in their collection. These are not critical but informational and educational articles. So the blog and the website have different but compatible functions and goals.


Enjoy the changing seasons.


Susan Cummins

Chair, AJF


'Tiny is the last refuge of the enormous.'

Joseph Cornell  
AJFers in Munich



This year SOFA NY is taking place on April 20-23, 2012, with the opening night on Thursday April 19. Registration is now open for VIP passes. The pass gives 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. 

Lalique Swan Necklace
Lalique Swan Necklace


Please also plan to attend the following jewelry-related events and talks:


Friday April 20 at 11am

Join curator-led tour of Highlights from the Modern Design Collection 1900 to the Present, Part II at The Metropolitan Museum of Art with Jane Adlin. Includes René Lalique's Swan necklace of opals and amethysts. 


Saturday April 21

10am: AJF walk through of the jewelry galleries

Farrah Al Dujalli
Farrah Al-Dujaili

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 and discuss their favorite jewelry at SOFA.


11am: Farrah Al-Dujaili, AJF Emerging Artist Award winner will give a short talk about her work right before the AJF/SNAG sponsored talk by Ursula Ilse-Neuman. Ursula Ilse-Neumann co-curated the show 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 and will speak about this mid-century jeweler.


1pm: 'Composition of Dreams­-Geometry and Nature in the Jewelry of Georg Dobler'

SNAG sponsored lecture by Georg Dobler, the prominent German jeweler. Dobler will discuss the disparate poles of geometric and organic forms in his work -- where Naturalism and Abstraction meet.

Arlene Fisch
Arlene Fisch


2pm: Curator-led tour of special exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Design

With Jennifer Scanlan, includes the exhibit Hanging Around: Necklaces from the MAD Collection.


Visit the SOFA website to find out about other lectures and events.




Please join the AJF board for dinner on Saturday April 21 at 7pm at a wonderful Italian restaurant called Vivolo, 140 E. 74th Street, only a few blocks from the SOFA fair. The dinner is $80 inclusive and can be paid in advance online. Please RSVP by April 12 if you would like to attend. Space is limited.



Collect Outside
This year COLLECT takes place from May 11-14, 2012 and 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 a casual dinner. Please RSVP by May 1. The cost for the tour and dinner is US $80 inclusive and space is limited.


This just in from Elyse Karlin, of ASJRA (the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts).


'Film documentarian Nicolas Cuellar is trying to raise funds to produce a documentary which will tell the story of why we study jewelry history. We are helping him produce a "teaser" film to try to raise the larger sum of money needed to produce a full-length documentary. The project arose when I met Nicolas through my son Harris Karlin, who will be acting as sound mixer on the teaser and full-length film and as producer of the teaser. Nicolas was so fascinated to hear how studying jewelry touches on so many other disciplines and areas of historical study that he decided the subject was documentary worthy. We couldn't agree more. Nicolas needs to raise another $1,000 to produce the "teaser" film on a very bare-bones budget. If you are interested in making a small contribution to this exciting project email us and we'll direct you where to send your contribution. We are very excited about this project. Both Yvonne Markowitz and myself as well as other jewelry historians, artists and people in the jewelry world will be interviewed for the documentary.' 


Jillian Moore, who is part of a task force responsible for evaluating the content, format and structure of the SNAG conference, has invited AJF members to have their say about the future of this important and venerable institution of the American contemporary jewelry scene. Their goal is to improve the SNAG conference experience by 2015, and they are keen to hear from anyone who has attended any conference, fair or symposium, and has ideas about what makes these events successful. Take the survey here.  



Davira Taragin talks about the jewelry department at Cranbrook and their recent exhibition Monomater at SOFA Chicago



In each newsletter we 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 Sienna Patti of Sienna Gallery, Lenox, Massachusetts, United States.


Where did your interest in contemporary jewelry come from? 

Not many galleries were showing jewelry as art at the time and it seemed like a great opportunity for me. My studies in film, theatrical texts and art history stemmed from an interest in the human condition and jewelry is a representation of our social culture. So rich, so naked and brazen in its representation of us and how we understand ourselves, jewelry seemed right for me. Read more...


This month we feature the following galleries on the AJF website (click photos for more info). 


 Silver Blue & Gold Ring  Facere Long  Patina Ford/Forlano  Sienna Gallery Lola Brooks JewelersWerk Iris BodemerCrafthaus Carolina Gimeno


Silver Blue & Gold: Ring 4 Spring

Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery: A Feast of Beads: Exceptional Ceramic Jewelry

Patina Gallery: Ford/Forlano, Overlay

Sienna Gallery: Lola Brooks

Jeweler'sWerk Galerie: Iris Bodemer

Crafthaus: Spain's Jewelry Hotspot: The Massana School of Barcelona



 Natalya Pinchuk  Metal Zero 



Attai Chen Maker's Tool Mah Rana Maker's Tool  Karl Fritsch Knife Ron Porter Collector's Piece 


  Collaborative Candleholders  Joyce Scott Elizabeth Goring's Collector's Choice



Jewellery from Israel

Until June 3, 2012

Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim 



Until May 15, 2012

The Dowse, Lower Hutt, New Zealand


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


Out on a Limb: Contemporary Wood Jewelry

February 26 - June 17, 2012

Racine Art Museum 


Want to know how Jackie O wore jewelry? Or what the jewelry of the rich and famous says about them? Care to visit a jewelry auction house, or find out what Wallpaper* thinks about the new Margaret De Patta exhibition? Then take a look at AJF Recommends. . . on the AJF homepage. We think of it as edifying gossip, keeping you informed with some of the ways that contemporary jewelry is making a splash in the world at large . . .