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Wood Necklace #11

1994 Bruce Metcalf Born: Amherst, Massachusetts 1949 fabricated, raised, chased, repoussaged, machined, and painted maple, cedar, copper, tagua nut, pre-fossil horse tooth, glass eye, Micarta, brass, aluminum, stainless steel cable, paints, and pigments 17 x 15 1/2 x 2 in. (43.2 x 39.4 x 5.2 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the James Renwick Alliance 1996.48 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 57B

Luce Center Quote

“I present narratives about redemption. These are stories about the difficult process of learning to see the other as truly human, about making offerings to those in need, and about the urgent need for all of us to nurture something or somebody.” Artist’s statement, 1993

Luce Center Label

Wood Necklace #11 is one of a series of objects that include Buddhist prayer beads. In this piece, Bruce Metcalf combines unusual elements, including a tagua nut and a prefossil horse tooth, with the prayer beads to evoke the mystery and wonder of ancient ritual. The cartoon-like female figure struggling to emerge from the leafy pod comments on the human condition in contemporary life. Metcalf leaves the viewer to construct a narrative about the figure and to find individual meaning through reflection.



Figure - fragment - hand

decorative arts - jewelry

Crafts - Wood

animal parts - tooth

metal - copper

plant material - nut

wood - cedar

wood - maple