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George Washington Belt Buckle

1974 James I. Meyer Born: New York, New York 1940 forged, fabricated, hand-engraved, and case 14 k gold, sterling silver, and Burma ruby 1 5/8 x 1 5/8 in. (4.2 x 4.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1975.158 Not currently on view


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In George Washington Belt Buckle, James Meyer shows a young Washington chopping down the famous cherry tree, invoking a popular episode from American folklore. Meyer expresses in this piece his desire to enjoy and protect his cultural heritage, a need that he attributes to his observations while traveling abroad. According to the artist, the richness and vitality of Italy’s culture made him aware of our need to preserve America’s folk history and shared heritage.

Keywords

Landscape - tree

Object - tool - axe

Portrait male - Washington, George

decorative arts - jewelry

Crafts - Metal

metal - gold

metal - silver

stone - ruby

cast

engraving

fabricated

forged

About James I. Meyer

Born: New York, New York 1940