NEW YORK, NY (November 23, 2021) – The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) presents the twenty-first edition of MAD About Jewelry (formerly known as LOOT: MAD About Jewelry), its annual show and sale of one-of-a-kind contemporary jewelry. Open to the public with free admission, December 7 through 11, following the Opening Benefit honoring esteemed educator and advocate for contemporary craft Helen Drutt English on December 6, MAD About Jewelry 2021 showcases the work of more than 40 emerging and acclaimed US-based jewelry artists. For collectors, connoisseurs, and all who share an interest in the interplay of art and design, MAD About Jewelry provides an unparalleled opportunity to converse with and acquire pieces from some of the most innovative creators in the field in support of the Museum’s exhibitions and educational programs.
This year, MAD About Jewelry also will include special shopping experiences with Of Rare Origin and Pamela Love. Founded by a mother and her two daughters, Of Rare Origin creates whimsical jewelry, handmade in collaboration with Italian artisans, that is infused with their playful spirit. This includes the Aviary Classic ring that Oprah Winfrey gifted to Amanda Gorman, the youngest Inaugural poet in U.S. History, to wear at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration Ceremony. Their mobile pop-up, known as the “Truck-Show,” will be parked in the Museum lobby from Monday, December 6 through Wednesday, December 8, where visitors will be transported to Italy to shop signature pieces, enjoy an Aperol Spritz, write postcards home, and mingle with fellow jewelry lovers.
On Wednesday, December 8, MAD About Jewelry will host a Piercing Party with jewelry designer Pamela Love who will be on site advising on custom ear piercings for purchasers of the awardwinning brand’s piercing jewelry. Appointments for piercings must be booked in advance by emailing [email protected].
The MAD About Jewelry Opening Benefit, which includes first access to shopping the jewelry selection of participating artists, will be held December 6 at the Museum’s celebrated Robert restaurant and will include the presentation of The MAD About Jewelry Award to esteemed educator and advocate for contemporary craft Helen Drutt English.
“The MAD About Jewelry Award is presented to luminaries in the field and in past years has honored legendary figures such as Josie Natori, Iris Apfel, Joyce L. Scott, and Kay Unger,” said Michele Cohen, MAD Board Chair and MAD About Jewelry Advisory Committee member. “This year we are extremely proud to honor Helen Drutt English, esteemed educator and collector of contemporary crafts, former gallerist, and longtime champion of MAD’s commitment to researching and presenting jewelry as an art form. Helen co-authored Jewelry of Our Time with Peter Dormer, a seminal book on studio jewelry. Having assembled one of the foremost collections of international jewelry, curated and lectured worldwide, and befriended countless important artists and designers, Helen is nothing less than a visionary who has transformed our understanding and appreciation of craft.”
During the public sale, which is free to enter, audiences will encounter a diverse range of creative practices, from the ancient technique of granulation to handknitting to digital fabrication. Inspired by nature, climate action, space, history, family, and myriad other timely subjects, the artists utilize traditional metals and gemstones, as well as unusual materials for jewelry such as porcelain, steel, photography, and more to articulate their ideas and aesthetic.
“The artists selected for MAD About Jewelry 2021 are supreme storytellers and exquisitely skilled makers,” said MAD About Jewelry Director Bryna Pomp. “Every piece presented is deeply expressive of the artist’s ideals and aesthetics. The opportunity for visitors to engage with this breadth and caliber of artists and to learn about these makers’ inspiration, technique, and process is what makes MAD About Jewelry a shopping experience like no other. When a piece is purchased, a permanent connection is formed between the collector and the artist.”
MAD About Jewelry Acquisition Prize
Awarded annually by a jury during the Opening Benefit Preview, the MAD About Jewelry Acquisition Prize recognizes a MAD About Jewelry artist or designer whose work reflects maturity in artistry and concept, exhibits both a superior and an experimental understanding of materials and form, and demonstrates expertise in technique and execution. MAD’s permanent collection includes nearly one thousand pieces of jewelry, spanning the mid-twentieth century to the present day. The MAD About Jewelry Acquisition Prize signifies the Museum’s goal of keeping the collection relevant to the field today and a piece from the winning artist(s) is added to it thereby reflecting the finest works by modern practitioners. Past winners include Mariko Kusumoto (2019) and Joo Hyung Park (2019).
About Jewelry 2021 is chaired by LaVon Kellner, Deidre Quinn, Kay Unger, and Advisory Committee members Susan Ach, Michele Cohen, Marsy Mittlemann, Ted Taylor, and Barbara Waldman.
The jewelry artists and designers featured in MAD About Jewelry 2021 include the following:
Sunyoung Cheong integrates technology with traditional metalsmithing to create her visual narrative; combining precious metals with mixed media such as 3D-printed resin, fabric, wood, paper, and vitreous enamel, and the lost-wax casting process. Recent work reflects the artist’s interest in honeybees, which she uses as the recurring motif in her works to raise awareness of the environmental value of honeybees and the importance of sustainable communities.
Ben Dory is fascinated by the mechanics of granulation, an ancient technique whereby small, primarily gold spheres are fused together using a torch or kiln. A pioneer of the stainless-steel granulation technique, Dory uses special machines, including a tiny silver vacuum, to micro-weld the steel granules together and onto a base surface. Exploring the possibilities of his technique, Dory’s style shifts from scientific and molecular to emotive and ornate, reminiscent of the Victorian era with all its flourishes.
Jade Gedeon’s works primarily in brass, designing organic shapes and playful motifs inspired by myriad art and design movements. By reimagining classics and tweaking tradition, she creates pieces that are witty and surprising, notable for their bold colors and rich patinas. Every piece in the Trinidadian native’s line is made by hand and assembled by an all-women team, with a focus on sustainability.
Xinia Guan works with sterling silver, which she stretches and folds, in a process that begins with a circle and ends with a different form. From the simplest observations in nature to detailed measuring of intricate forms, Guan finds geometry, patterns, and form everywhere and is fascinated by contrast and unity, organization, and repetition.
MoAnA Luu reimagines the evolution of Creole jewelry and honors the rich, diverse cultural tapestry of the French West Indies. Her debut collection comprises playful and stackable genderneutral pieces with bold, geometric details, evoking effortless modern elegance crafted with cultural authenticity. Each piece is handcrafted by local New York artisans in 18-karat gold vermeil and sterling silver to emulate woven cane. Some of Luu’s earliest fans include Gwyneth Paltrow and Mary J. Blige, and Cardi B. donned ManLuu bangles for her second pregnancy announcement in the Summer of 2021.
Michael Nashef was born in war-torn Lebanon, and he has seen a great deal of beautiful architecture damaged and destroyed. Influenced by the vernacular of architecture and building materials, Nashef constructs structures that double as vessels: distilled representations of buildings ruined by war, whose functional resilience comes from the stability and strength of the cement with which he works. He also makes jewelry in 3D-printed nylon, whose airiness provides an ironic complement to his concrete works. By bridging the aesthetics and the materials within his jewelry, he asks the wearer and viewer to form a connection to their surroundings, realizing that there is no perfection, only adaptation to our current situation.
Tiffany Vanderhoop makes hand-beaded earrings with brass accents. A descendant of the Haida and Aquinnah Wampanoag tribes, she incorporates traditional geometric weaving patterns into her beadwork. Her designs represent an unbroken thread to her ancestors a
nd serve as wearable tributes to the survival of the textile art forms and the resilience of Indigenous peoples. Vanderhoop was among several Indigenous designers worn by the first Native American cabinet member and current U.S Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland when she graced the cover of Instyle magazine’s August 2021 issue.
VENUE AND HOURS
Museum of Arts and Design
2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY
OPENING BENEFIT PREVIEW
Monday, December 6, 5–8:30 pm
MAD ABOUT JEWELRY HOURS:
Tuesday, December 7, 10 am to 6 pm
Wednesday, December 8, 10 am to 6 pm
Thursday, December 9, 10 am to 8 pm
Friday, December 10, 10 am to 6 pm
Saturday, December 11, 10 am to 6 pm
Admission is free.
Reserve timed tickets online.
In accordance with the Mayor of New York City’s Emergency Executive Order, all attendees are required to provide I.D. and proof of vaccination against Covid-19.
Learn more about the Museum’s health and safety protocols.
For more information, contact Rebekka Grossman at [email protected].
To attend the Press Preview on December 6 at 4:00 pm, RSVP to [email protected].
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF ARTS AND DESIGN
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives.
MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first-century innovation, and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design. For more information, visit madmuseum.org.