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It is spring, there is energy in the air, and that means that art fairs and conferences pop up like weeds--they are everywhere. We throw off the stupor of winter and get to work in our gardens, and then abandon them to go off traveling with our curiosity and desires tucked into our suitcases. Check out the listings below, including three fairs and four conferences. Time to make plans.


Many of you have perused the bookstore on our site and have clicked through to Amazon to make your purchase. When you use our link, AJF gets a tiny kickback from your purchase, so thank you. It was brought to my attention by Rebekah Frank, our website content tech, that The Fat Booty of Madness is now for sale at prices upward of $1900 ... leading us to conclude for an investment of $75 you could be rich. Buy more books!!! Speaking of which, at the end of the newsletter I have added a list of recommended new books with descriptions by Charon Kransen.


On a sad note, Julie Artisans' Gallery on Madison Avenue in New York City is closing after 25 years of showing clothing and jewelry as an art form. They will be missed.


Don't forget to tell qualified makers about the prestigious Art Jewelry Forum Artist Award. It is worth $7500 to the lucky winner. The deadline to enter is June 30, 2013.


Happy traveling,


Susan Cummins

AJF Chair


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The AJF dinner during the SNAG conference in Toronto is SOLD OUT. I am sorry for those of you who are slow to sign up, but our dinner events seem to be gaining popularity. If you didn't get a seat at the last gatherings, hope to see you next time, next place.


Details on Top American Prize for an Emerging Art Jeweler Released


AJF is accepting applications for the 2013 Art Jewelry Forum Artist Award for an Emerging Jeweler. This is the 14th year the organization is awarding a cash prize to a contemporary artist. The amount of the 2013 award is $7500. The purpose of the Art Jewelry Forum Artist Award for an Emerging Jeweler is to acknowledge promise, innovation, and individuality in a jeweler's work and to help advance her career.


Jurors selecting this year's prizewinner are: 2012 Art Jewelry Forum Artist Award winner Noon Passama; Lindsay Pollack, Editor in Chief of Art in America and a collector of art jewelry; and Ruudt Peters, illustrious vanguard jeweler and professor at Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School, Florence, Italy.


  Noon Passama Portrait    


We encourage you to share this exciting opportunity with eligible jewelers. For detailed entry guidelines, please visit our website.




LAST CALL:  Advance registration for the SNAG conference

ends May 1st at midnight. After May 1, all registrations will be handled onsite at the conference hotel. SNAG always welcomes walkup registrations. No one will be turned away. 

The Society of North American Goldsmiths is holding their annual conference in Toronto from May 15 - May 18, 2013. The conference, titled "Meta-Mosaic," celebrates diverse activity in jewelry and metalsmithing in the twenty-first century.  
Of special note: former AJF editor Damian Skinner will deliver a talk at the conference. Don't miss it. 


Ndidi Nkubia, Large Vase detail,
2010, photo: COLLECT


Noon Passama, 2012 winner of the prestigious AJF Artist Award, will give a talk at the Galerie Ra booth during COLLECT: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects in London. This year's fair takes place from Friday, May 10 - Monday, May 13 at the Saatchi Gallery. Passama's talk will take place on May 10 at 16:30 London time. Please take the opportunity to meet this talented artist and see her latest work.


Several AJF member galleries will be exhibiting at COLLECT, including Galerie Marzee, Galerie Rob Koudijs, Galerie Rosemarie Jaeger, and Gallery S O. Make sure to visit them while you are there.

CALENDAR ESPECIALLY FOR YOU: Collective.1 Design Fair, New York, New York

Hudson River Park's Pier 57, photo:
John Malcolmson

AJF members are invited to attend Collective.1, a new design fair in New York City taking place at Pier 57 from May 8 -11, 2013. AJF member galleries Ornamentum and Sienna Gallery are offering VIP passes to AJF members on request. Please contact these galleries directly.
CALENDAR ESPECIALLY FOR YOU: CraftPerspectives|Symposium: Craft and Social Practice, Portland, Oregon 

Gabriel Craig, Pro Bono Jeweler, 2011, photo: artist 
The Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland State University, and Open Engagement present a symposium on May 18, 2013, from 10:00am to 4:00pm at The Lab. 


For an explanation of the challenging topics to be explored, go to the website.

CALENDAR ESPECIALLY FOR YOU: Symposium SchmuckDenken IX, Idar-Oberstein, Germany  

SchmuckDenken (Thinking Jewelry) is an annual symposium that will take place this year on May 21st and 22nd at Hochschule Trier, Trier University of Applied Sciences, in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. This is the ninth year the school has hosted this two-day program.

The theme for 2013 is "At the end of progress? -- Perspectives for action at the end of growth," and the line up of speakers includes some impressive academics. A summary of past topics is available on their website. 
CALENDAR ESPECIALLY FOR YOU: Zimmerhof Jewellery Symposium, Zimmerhof, Germany    


Zimmerhof 2012, photo: Susan Cummins

Last year, I attended the Zimmerhof Jewellery Symposium and wrote about this very special experience for our website. Again, this year's program has a great line up of speakers.   


The topic is "Mind Your Language" and takes place in the tiny town of Zimmerhof, Germany, from May 30 - June 2, 2013.

Tampa Necklace, Van Cleef & Arpels,
 photo: Forbes Galleries


Elyse Karlin invites AJF members to an all-day event organized by ASJRA (Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts) on May 31, 2013 in New York City. The itinerary includes: a curator's tour of Out of this World! Jewelry in the Space Age at The Forbes Galleries; lunch at DiFiore Marquet Cafe (one block from The Forbes Galleries); and a walking tour of Greenwich Village led by ASJRA member Anita Taub. Anita will point out landmarks unfamiliar to many longtime New York City residents. Artists Donna Distefano and John Hatleberg will be at The Forbes Galleries to talk about their work in the exhibition. The cost for this excursion is $150, and it includes lunch and an exhibition catalog. Space is limited to 20 people.

Email Elyse Karlin to make a reservation.


From June 11 - 16, 2013, Design Miami/Basel will feature the best the design world has to offer including several excellent jewelry galleries--Antonella Villanova, Didier LTD, Caroline Van Hoek, Ornamentum, Elisabetta Cripriani, and Louisa Guinness Gallery. Please contact the gallery of your choice directly for a VIP pass.



Rijksmuseum, photo: Myra May

Due to high hotel charges and a lack of good rooms available in September, we have changed the dates of the AJF trip to Amsterdam.  


The NEW DATES are OCTOBER 10 - 14, 2013.  


We will start with a dinner on the evening of October 10th and follow with four full days of events. Our main hotel is the Sofitel, located in the heart of the city.  


Please let us know your interest, and make your reservations now for the best rates.



Melanie Bilenker, Stepping Into Shoes,
 2011, photo: Sienna Patti


Sienna Patti, owner of Sienna Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts, speaks about the gallery she has run for 14 years.


Susan Cummins: How can the art jewelry community help support the success of the art jewelry market?

Sienna Patti: Buy work, and wear it. Read about it. Write about it. If you are an artist, make better work than you are right now. If you are an artist, strive to go well beyond mediocrity. This should not be an option.

Work with what you have now. Don't wait until everything is lined up in a certain way. If you are a collector, educate yourself, ask your dealer questions, and listen. Buy work, and try to collect artists in depth. Read more...
Susan Cohn, photo: Koray Kiliçli 


AJF editor Ben Lignel interviews curator Susan Cohn about the experience of curating the exhibition Unexpected Pleasures


Ben Lignel: What did you learn during this experience?


Susan Cohn: The first "lesson" I learned from the project is that really not many people in the world know about contemporary jewelry. On the opening night, for example, about two thirds of the visitors were from the jewelry community. The other third was not, and their reaction--especially if they came from design--was very strong, and often ran along the lines of, "I did not know about this! Why did I not know about this?" Read more...


This month, we feature the following galleries on the AJF website:

Gallery S O
David Bielander: Koi for Joy
May 3 - June 30, 2013
Vander A Gallery
Tweex Project
April 26 - May 25, 2013
ATTA Gallery
Hardware - Artware
May 2 - June 2, 2013

Putti Gallery
Bruno Birmana: BALLET.BEYOND
April 19 - May 28, 2013
The National
Kobi Bosshard
May 7 - June 3, 2013
Aaron Faber Gallery
Dramatic Jewelry: The Five Masters
May 6 - 25, 2013






Gustavsbergs Konsthall

Gustavsberg, Sweden

March 22 - May 12, 2013


Wear It or Not: Recent Jewelry Acquisitions

Museum of Arts and Design

New York, New York, USA

March 12 - June 2, 2013   


Small Size, Great Aesthetics - a Hundred and One Rings

Schmuck Museum Pforzheim

Pforzheim, Germany

March 8 - June 9, 2013


Adornments & Delights: Five Jewelers Courting Nature 

Fuller Craft Museum

Brockton, Massachusetts, USA

Through June 16, 2013 


Museum of Fine Arts
Boston, Massachusetts, USA 
July 19, 2011 - July 1, 2014

From Picasso to Koons: the Artist as Jeweler
Bass Museum of Art
Miami Beach, Florida, USA
March 15 - July 21, 2013

Out of This World! Jewelry in the Space Age
The Forbes Galleries
New York, New York, USA
March 16 - September 7, 2013

FRAMED by Ted Noten

Stedelijk Museum Hertogenbosch

sHertogenbosch, The Netherlands

May 25 - September 8, 2013


Fashion Jewelry: The Collection of Barbara Berger
Museum of Arts and Design
New York, New York, USA
June 25 - September 22, 2013

Magnificent Views: Landscapes in Jewellery

Schmuck Museum Pforzheim

Pforzheim, Germany

July 22 - October 13, 2013  


Jewellery by Iris Bodemer and Ute Eitzenhofer                     

Schmuck Museum Pforzheim

Pforzheim, Germany

November 9, 2013 - January 26, 2014

What is it that renders contemporary jewelry precious? 

From our Reserve Holdings: Inauguration of a New Permanent Exhibition Room Devoted to Contemporary Jewelry

Musee de Design et d'arts Appliquies Contemorains (MUDAC)

Lausanne, Switzerland

Ongoing from October 19, 2012 

Curated by Gail Brown

SNAG exhibition online



Here are a few recent books on contemporary jewelry that caught AJF's eye. Special thanks to Charon Kransen Arts for providing the bibliographic information and summaries. You can order any of these books at their website.


Aftermath of Art Jewellery  

André Gali and Petra Hölsche

This book presents a creative and ground-breaking assessment of the role and potential of contemporary jewelry art in the early twenty-first century based on exchanges between four artists from Oslo and four from Munich. All of these jewelers are pioneering representatives of the young generation that distinguishes itself through distinct concepts, unusual choice of materials, and extensive investigation of technical possibilities and skills. 80 pages. 50 color illustrations. 40USD   


Annamaria Zanella--Beyond the Ornament

Annamaria Zanella

Catalog from Italian jewelry artist Annamaria Zanella's 2012 exhibition in Venice. The catalog gives a very good overview of Zanella's work from 1993 to 2012. Full color. Essays in English. 119 pages. 45USD 


Fashion Jewelry, The Collection of Barbara Berger 

Harrice Simons Miller

The author is a consultant of vintage and couture costume jewelry. Her official guide to identifying and pricing costume jewelry continues to be the go-to source for collectors worldwide. She also pioneered the international costume jewelry market with an auction at Christie's called "Period Jewelry." Barbara Berger's collection of approximately 4000 pieces features many of the most significant designs of the twentieth century. Full color. 260 pages. 200 illustrations. 65USD 


From the Coolest Corner: Nordic Jewellery  

Liesbeth den Besten, Jorunn Veiteberg, Love Jonsson, and Päivi Ruutiainen 

With 160 works by artists from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and the Baltic states, this publication considers the significance, strategies, and trends of Nordic jewelry art in the early twenty-first century. Expert authors present the backgrounds, developments, and characteristics of contemporary jewelry. 248 pages. 180 color illustrations. Hardcover. 70USD 


Handshake: 12 Contemporary Jewelers Connect with Their Heroes

12 jewelry graduates from New Zealand were given the opportunity to make work around the globe without leaving their own workshops. The Handshake Project takes advantage of new technologies that enable the graduates to develop and refine work alongside their mentors in a virtual studio space. Full color. In English. 110 pages. 35USD 


Jewelbook: International Annual Of Contemporary Jewel Art 

Jaak Van Damme

This book is the result of international teamwork, showing handcrafted contemporary jewelry by the world's finest modern artists. It illustrates the most innovative works in contemporary jewelry and offers support to the idea of jewelry as a cultural expression of our time. Jewelbook is destined to become an important reference work in our field. 567 pages. 550 color, 195 b&w illustrations. 65USD 


Karl Fritsch 2012

Karl Fritsch

A 2012 catalog showing work from the past two years of Karl Fritsch, a German-born artist now residing in New Zealand. 128 pages. English text. Full color. 45USD 


Kiff Slemmons and Arte Papel Oaxaca  

Kiff Slemmons

This two-volume catalog documents the multi-year collaboration between artist Kiff Slemmons and the Arte Papel Oaxaca, a facility for papermaking in Oaxaca, Mexico. This project resulted in an exhibition of paper jewelry in Chicago in 2012. Limited edition. In English and Spanish. 65USD 


New Work: Renee Bevan

Renee Bevan

New Zealand jeweler Renee Bevan explores the allegory of the everyday in this 2012 catalog. Full color. Essay in English. 20 pages. 22.50USD 


Otto Künzli: The Book

This Swiss artist has revolutionized modern art jewelry. This publication presents his diverse oeuvre. It includes hundreds of jewelry objects as well as interdisciplinary conceptual work from his various creative phases. 550 pages. 500 color and 500 b&w illustrations. 85USD 


Schmuck 2013

The catalog of the annual exhibition of contemporary jewelry in Munich shows the latest trends in this field. Schmuck awards the prestigious Herbert Hofmann Prize to three outstanding jewelry artists. 91 pages. English. Full color. 35USD  


Suspended in Pink

A catalog accompanying a 2013 exhibition of pink jewelry with explorations into pink's many connotations, cultural references, and gender associations. The book is a guide to the exhibition and demonstrates how pink is woven through each object. 63 pages. Full color. Essays in English. 48USD 


Talente 2013

This catalog documents the annual exhibition in Munich of contemporary emerging craft artists less than 30 years old. It shows the latest trends in ceramic, textile, jewelry, glass, wood, product design, and more. 119 pages. English. Full color. 35USD   


Transplantation: A Sense of Place and Culture in British and Australian Narrative Jewelry

This catalog accompanies a traveling exhibition that explores transplantation as a means to engage the inner contradictions in both British and Australian cultures. Essays. Full color. 80 pages. 35USD 


Pensieri Preziosi 8 - La magica poesia della Scuola orafa di Tallinn

This installment in the series of Italian publications highlights the jewelry department of the arts academy in Tallinn, Estonia. It shows the most well known jewelers of this interesting country. English. Full color. 117 pages. 40USD



This book accompanies an exhibition at the 2012 Milan fair of 208 works bridging art and design. A subjective overview that, through its choice of objects, sheds light on the aesthetic of the body between objective representation and metaphor. The body is the central focus of this research using examples of international creativity. 248 pages. Full color. In English and Italian. 52USD 

On the home page of our new website, there is a changing list of the interesting, strange, and wonderful ways that contemporary jewelry is hitting the headlines. Find out what has been attracting our curiosity at AJF Recommends...