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Kent Raible

Floating City
1996
gold, chrome, diamonds, sapphires, amethysts, chalcedony, and tourmaline
10 1/4 x 5 3/8 x 1 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James Renwick Alliance

Made mostly of gold and precious and semiprecious gemstones prized for their color and translucency, Kent Raible's work suggests a court tradition of jewelry that flourished when royal families patronized particular jewelry makers. Floating City is a fantasy. When he conceived the pendant, he had in mind the lost city of Atlantis. The miniature city resembles a spaceship in a science-fiction film. The extended blue chalcedon looks like it might begin to glow at any moment, a force for good. This floating city might slowly begin to move into space toward an unknown destiny.