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Thursday, June 29, 2017
Harry Bertoia: Jewelry
In commemoration of the centennial of the artist’s birth, Bent, Cast & Forged: The Jewelry of Harry Bertoia was the first museum exhibition devoted to Harry Bertoia’s designs for jewelry.
The former Cranbrook Academy of Art student and metalsmithing instructor has received international acclaim for his metal furniture and sculpture, but his exploration of the medium originated in jewelry design while still a high school student in Detroit.
Out of the hundreds of jewelry pieces attributed to Bertoia, the majority was produced during his years at Cranbrook, and this display of over thirty works offers an early glimpse of a creative vision that would crystallize as his career matured.
Additionally, several early monotype prints are featured to illustrate how the artist harnessed the same intuitive and experimental approach to making in his planographic compositions.
The objects in this exhibition highlight Bertoia’s investigations of form, dimension, and material on a concentrated and bankable scale -- establishing him as a pioneer of the American Studio Jewelry movement and a master of elevating fashionable adornment to objets d’art.