Choker (#38)

  • Mary Lee Hu, Choker (#38), 1978, fine and sterling silver, 18k and 24k gold, and lacquered copper, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the James Renwick Alliance, 1985.22

Luce Center Label

Mary Lee Hu wove together silver, gold, and copper in Choker (#38) to form a massive yet delicate neckpiece. Hu expertly wove the metal by hand, using her finger as her primary tool. It is tedious work, and can take hours to complete only a few inches of woven metal; Hu, however, enjoys the slow, meditative process. She loves pattern, rhythm and symmetry, and is inspired by organic forms, including sea creatures and veins in leaves. The flowing, subtly asymmetrical forms in Choker (#38) evoke leaves or feathers, and seem to sprout from the core of the piece.

Luce Object Quote
"My work takes a long time to do . . . But I really like to see it slowly growing . . . I feel strongly that one form is related to what is next to it; forms flow one into another." Mary Lee Hu in Ornament 6:3, 1983
Choker (#38)
9 5/8 x 6 1/2 x 7/8 in. (24.5 x 16.6 x 2.3 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of the James Renwick Alliance

Mediums Description
fine and sterling silver, 18k and 24k gold, and lacquered copper
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More Artworks from the Collection


sterling silver, 14k gold, copper, pigment, simulated ivory horn, wood, beads