Jewelry Exhibit: MAD Museum’s “Bent, Cast & Forged”

In What's New, Industry News by Lauren Parker

Necklace, circa 1942–1943 Articulated brass with forged elements and rivets. Photo: R. H. Hensleigh

Necklace, circa 1942–1943
Articulated brass with forged elements and rivets. Photo: R. H. Hensleigh

Bent, Cast & Forged, on exhibit now at New York’s MAD Museum of Arts and Design, explores the jewelry designs of Harry Bertoia (1915 – 1978) and follows his investigations of form and material in his early days as an artist and designer.

While acclaimed for his woven wire metal furniture and large bronze and copper sculptures, Bertoia actually got his start in jewelry design while still a high school student in Detroit in the 1930s. Wartime rationing also forced him to work small, and he began making jewelry from melted-down metal scraps—including wedding rings for Cranbrook friends Charles and Ray Eames.

Bent, Cast & Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia will display jewelry works and monotype prints, and offer an early glimpse of a creative vision that would crystallize as his career matured.

The objects in this exhibition highlight Bertoia’s investigations of form, dimension and material on a concentrated and bankable scale—establishing him as a pioneer of the American Studio Jewelry movement and a master of elevating fashionable adornment to objets d’art.

Bent, Cast & Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia runs through September 25, 2016.

Brooch, circa 1945. Forged and fabricated sterling silver. Photo: Wright Auction House

Brooch, circa 1945. Forged and fabricated sterling silver.
Photo: Wright Auction House

 

“Gong” Pendant, circa 1960s. Forged sterling silver. Photo: Richard Goodbody

“Gong” Pendant, circa 1960s. Forged sterling silver. Photo: Richard Goodbody

 

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