Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection

March 13, 2008 — July 5, 2008

Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW)

Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection is a landmark exhibition that explores contemporary jewelry from a global perspective. The exhibition traces the development of artist-made jewelry and honors its craft roots while also placing the work within a larger framework of seminal movements in 20th century art. Ornament as Art showcases a broad array of national and international works made between 1963 and 2006. The exhibition includes 300 objects, including 275 pieces of jewelry and drawings, watercolors, sketchbooks and sculptural constructions by the artists. Cindi Strauss, curator of modern and contemporary decorative arts and design at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, organized the exhibition; Robyn Kennedy, chief of the Renwick Gallery, is coordinating curator for the exhibition in Washington.

Credit

Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection has been organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Generous funding has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rotasa Foundation. The James Renwick Alliance supports the exhibition's presentation at the Renwick Gallery.

Publication

The accompanying catalogue features an introduction and essay by Cindi Strauss, an essay by Helen Williams Drutt English, an interview of Drutt by Strauss, a chronology of major events in contemporary jewelry, a complete illustrated checklist of the Drutt collection and artist biographies.

This is a sterling silver and polyester resin neckpiece

Stanley Lechtzin, “Torque 22-D” Neckpiece, 1971, sterling silver and polyester resin, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Helen Williams Drutt Collection, gift of the Morgan Foundation, 2002.3916, © Stanley Lechtzin