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Graphite Pendulum-Pendant

1994 Joan Parcher Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1956 graphite, sterling silver, and stainless steel 13 1/2 x 8 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (34.3 x 21.6 x 3.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Renwick Acquisitions Fund 1995.12 Renwick Gallery
2nd Floor, Room 207


Luce Center Label

In Graphite Pendulum-Pendant, Joan Parcher reminds the viewer that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Instead of traditional gemstones or precious metals, the artist uses materials gathered from a dump. Her works challenge the notion of preciousness and the tradition of jewelry as ornament. The pendant sways on the wearer’s body, smearing a dark stain across the chest and making the wearer a part of the artwork. The piece continually disintegrates as the material scrapes the surface of the clothing, shattering our idea of jewelry as a precious heirloom.

Keywords

decorative arts - jewelry

Crafts - Metal

metal - silver

metal - steel

mineral - graphite

About Joan Parcher

Born: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 1956