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Ginkgo Brooch

2002 Jim Kelso Born: San Mateo, California 1950 18K gold, moonstones, and bighorn sheep horn 2 5/8 × 2 × 1/2 in. (6.6 × 5.2 × 1.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the James Renwick Alliance 2003.11 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

“I am continually awe stricken by the ineffable beauty of nature.” Jim Kelso, Metalsmith 1994 Exhibition in Print, 1994

Luce Center Label

A ginko tree in the Smithsonian Castle courtyard inspired Jim Kelso’s Ginko Brooch. He carefully carved the horn to make sure that it would remain strong, yet still convey the lightness and delicacy of the ginko leaf. He drew on his knowledge of Japanese design principles and his admiration of René Lalique’s gold and carved horn jewelry to come up with the design. Although Kelso admits that “the result is nearly a botanical study,” his goal was not accuracy, but to convey his impression of “ginkoness.” (Jim Kelso, Certificate of Origin)


Object - foliage - ginkgo

decorative arts - jewelry

Crafts - Metal

animal parts - horn

metal - gold

stone - moonstone

About Jim Kelso

Born: San Mateo, California 1950