Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

Ideogram Brooch/Pendant with Two Striped and Wrapped Cats

1989 Colette Born: Oakland, California 1937 fabricated 14k and 24k gold, fine and sterling silver, cloisonne enamel, and baroque Tahitian pearl 2 x 3 1/8 x 1/2 in. (5.2 x 8.0 x 1.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of an anonymous donor © 1989, Colette 1991.149.2 Not currently on view

Luce Center Label

Colette created the Ideogram series after recovering from a dangerous case of meningitis. An ideogram expresses an idea with a symbol instead of a word, and in this series the symbols refer to the impairment the artist experienced while she was ill. The deep red of the bracelet, in particular, symbolizes the pain she endured through this episode. For the artist, the animals in both pieces represent “unwitting observers of, testimonials to, our condition.”


Animal - cat

State of being - phenomenon - surreal

decorative arts - jewelry

Crafts - Metal

metal - gold

metal - silver

paint - enamel

stone - pearl

About Colette

Born: Oakland, California 1937

More works in the collection by