The Jewelry of Robert Ebendorf: A Retrospective of Forty Years

September 25, 2003 — January 19, 2004

Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW)
This is a white necklace that is curved in the shape of a snake.

Robert Ebendorf, Necklace, 1984, Colorcore surfacing material chips, rubber and sterling silver, Gift of Donna Schneier to the American Craft Museum, 1997

This retrospective gathers 40 years of jewelry and sculpture by Robert Ebendorf, a major American artist in metal. Surveying 95 pieces, this exhibition chronicles significant shifts in jewelry during the last half of the 20th century. Ebendorf uses found materials—crab claws, sea glass, plastic, paper—and recycles industrially produced objects—keys, buttons, beer bottle caps, washers, wire mesh, tubing—to create dynamic, sometimes highly eccentric jewelry. His work counters cultural preconceptions about jewelry as the stuff of costly gemstones and precious metals, and leads to a new definition of this form.


An exhibition catalogue with essays by organizing curators Ruth T. Summers and Bruce W. Pepich was published by the Gallery of Art & Design at North Carolina State University.


"The Jewelry of Robert Ebendorf: A Retrospective of Forty Years" is organized by the Gallery of Art & Design, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C. The exhibition is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council and the Friends of the Gallery Publication Fund.

Shelby M. and Frederick M. Gans and the James Renwick Alliance support the exhibition's presentation at the Renwick Gallery.