DAYTON, OH.- The Dayton Art Institute
’s most recent centennial special exhibition, Maker & Muse: Women and Early 20th-Century Art Jewelry, opened October 26 and will be on view through January 19, 2020. This stunning exhibition of more than 200 unique pieces of handcrafted art jewelry celebrates the role of women, both as inspiration and as designers/makers.
Featuring exquisite works by renowned artists such as Louis Comfort Tiffany, Charlotte Newman, and René Lalique, Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry celebrates the impact of women and art jewelry across five regions: Great Britain, France, Austro-Germany, New York and Chicago. These regions saw the emergence of bold, experimental artists who pushed the boundaries of traditional jewelry design.
“These dazzling pieces of jewelry provide a glimpse of life at the turn-of-the-twentieth century and demonstrate how artwork can both be influenced by and inspire the world around it,” said Katherine Ryckman Siegwarth, the DAI’s in-house curator for the exhibition. “Guests will not only learn about metalworking and jewelry-making, but also about societal shifts and its effects on the lives of women, from the acceptance of working outside the home to the suffragist movement. This exhibition celebrates the DAI’s centennial, as well as the 100-annivesary of the 19th amendment, giving women in the United States the right to vote.”
Art jewelry developed as a reaction to the conformity of mass-produced goods throughout the Industrial Revolution. Each of the designers represented in Maker & Muse, though inspired by their own individual cultures and surroundings, shared similar aesthetic ideals: they all sought to produce innovative jewelry with semiprecious stones, enamelwork, and dramatic forms. Women influenced art jewelry both as muses to male designers, and for the first time, as designers in their own right. The works in this exhibition offer a mesmerizing glimpse into the social, political, and economic realms in which they were created.
Drawn from the Collection of Richard H. Driehaus, as well as from other prominent collections, Maker & Muse explores the fascinating symbiosis between art jewelry, design, and women in the early 20th century. Maker & Muse was organized by The Richard H. Driehaus Museum and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, D.C. The Dayton Art Institute will also include works from its collection that complement the exhibition, including jewelry and designs by Daytonian Virginia Blakeney, who created designs for Louis Comfort Tiffany.
“Bringing these exquisite gems to the Gem City is the perfect way to close out our centennial celebrations here at the museum,” said DAI Director & CEO Michael R. Roediger. “The holiday season will truly sparkle and shine with this amazing collection of jewelry. You won’t want to miss the only Ohio stop for this exhibition!”
The tour’s curator, Elyse Zorn Karlin, is a jewelry historian and freelance curator. She is also the author of a number of books on jewelry, a well-known lecturer, and co-director of the Association for the Study of Jewelry & Related Arts. Zorn Karlin will give a talk about the exhibition at the DAI on Saturday, November 9, at 1 p.m. Her talk is free to DAI members and included in museum admission for non-members.
An exhibition catalogue, edited by Elyse Zorn Karlin with essays by Sharon S. Darling, Jeannine Falino, Elyse Zorn Karlin, Yvonne J. Markowitz and Emily Banis Stoehrer, and Janis Staggs, with photographs by John Faier, is available for purchase at the DAI’s Museum Store.