While the art of jewelry has been around for centuries, the modern era of fine art jewelry is believed to have begun in the United States in the early 20th century and has continued through to the present. This article is the first of a series, in which you will learn about artistic jewelry through the years, how it was born and where it is currently.
But what is an art jewel ?
Hanging a work of art on the wall is perhaps the most common way of displaying it, but it's certainly not the only one. Some artists create works that can be worn as jewelry or vice versa - the difference is subtle. Both are born from the same creative approach, have the same emotional strength and the same artistic meaning; what changes is only the purpose: wearable art.
Wearable works of art are objects created by artists and sculptors. They are made to be worn, as jewelery or as part of a collection. The difference between these two categories is subtle: Most wearable artwork was made with the intention of being seen from afar, rather than worn close to the body. In this dimension, jewels are prized by their creators for the emotional impact they have on the wearer.
Throughout the 20th century, some artists looked for new ways to show their admiration for a loved one. For example, Picasso made necklaces for Dora Maar between 1930 and 1940, while Calder made a wedding ring for his wife. This trend continued until the 1950s: although art had by now taken the path of conceptualism and abstractionism, many artists continued to deepen their link with craftsmanship, giving life to miniature works of art. Among these names stand out Braque, Dalì, Fontana, Giacometti and Spoerri, as well as Haring and Koons.
Jewelry is a relatively unexplored artistic area by the public, except for collectors and enthusiasts. However, it has recently become a popular subject of interest among artists, who have presented themselves to the world on a number of occasions.