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Traveling on the Edge Brooch

2000 Frances E. Kite Born: Nashville, Tennessee 1953 24k gold, cloisonne enamel on fine silver with 24k gold foils, 14k, 18k, 22k gold, garnet, diamond, and Biwa pearl 3 1/2 in. x 1 in. x 3/8 in. (8.8 x 2.5 x 1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Kenneth R. Trapp in honor of Christine L. Droll, Frances E. Kite, and Nicolas Crevecoeur 2003.27.3 Not currently on view

Luce Center Quote

"[In this brooch,] I wanted to design strength and stately elegance with contrasts . . . a joyful combination of movement and beauty. In a sense, a celebration of a journey through life." Artist's statement

Luce Center Label

Frances E. Kite created Traveling on the Edge Brooch during what she describes as a "great change" in her life. She was recovering from her mother's death while also adjusting to a new life of looking after two adopted children. The contrasts in this brooch, between hard and soft, dark and light, and smooth and jagged, evoke the ups and downs of the journey of her life. The colors and patterns of the cloisonné enamel complement the hues of the gemstones, from the rich, bloodlike garnet at the top to the natural pearl that falls from the bottom like a glistening teardrop. The sparkle of the diamond and worked gold balances these somber emblems of mourning.


decorative arts - jewelry

Crafts - Metal


metal - gold

metal - silver

stone - diamond

stone - garnet

stone - pearl

About Frances E. Kite

Born: Nashville, Tennessee 1953