Top in New York. Jewelry and Photography at the Museum of Arts and Design

Top in New York. Jewelry and Photography at the Museum of Arts and Design
Yareah Magazine

Top in New York. Jewelry and Photography at the Museum of Arts and Design featuring 170 objects, including 10 video works by more than 80 artists from over 20 countries. May 13 – September 14, 2014.

On view at the Museum of Arts and Design from May 13 to September 14, 2014, Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography is the first museum exhibition to examine how contemporary jewelry artists are using photography to explore issues central to contemporary experience, including changing views of beauty and the human body; social, political, and cultural issues; memory and desire; and the relationship of jewelry to society and personal identity.


Top in New York. Jewelry and Photography at the Museum of Arts and Design

Today’s revolution in image creation, manipulation, and transmission has served as a catalyst for the artists featured in Multiple Exposures to take a serious look at the pictures in our lives—the Daguerreotypes, tintypes, and Kodachromes we have inherited from earlier times, as well as the digital images currently streaming from our cameras, computers, and smart phones. Focusing on contemporary works and featuring 170 objects, Multiple Exposures not only provides historical context for this evolving 150-year-old relationship, but also delves into recent developments in contemporary photo-jewelry through cutting-edge videos and installations.

More than 80 renowned artists from over 20 countries are represented in the exhibition, including Gijs Bakker, Wafaa Bilal, Mari Ishikawa, Jiro Kamata, Sooyeon Kim, Otto Künzli, Iris Nieuwenburg, Kara Ross, Gabriela Sánchez y Sánchez de la Barquera, Bernard Schobinger, Bettina Speckner, Joyce Scott, Kiff Slemmons, Andy Warhol, and Noa Zilberman.

“Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography offers the first rigorous survey and exploration of the deep and multifaceted relationship between these two mediums,” says Glenn Adamson, MAD’s Nanette L. Laitman Director. “The exhibition gives viewers the opportunity to engage with contemporary artists who push the boundaries of one field using the other, reinvigorating familiar forms while inventing new ones.”.

“In spite of their distinct histories and traits, or perhaps because of them, the fusion of these two mediums has resulted in a potent synergy that has reshaped jewelry,” observes Ilse-Neuman. “Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography captures the artistic strength embodied in this dynamic combination of object and image.”

The exhibition is loosely organized around the following thematic threads: Identity and Representation, in which artists push the boundaries of portrait jewelry using images of family and friends, the celebrated and notorious, as well as anonymous individuals whose histories have been lost in time; The Body, featuring the changing concepts of beauty and imperfection of the human form as well as its interior; Landscape, architecture and their symbolic content; Appropriation, in which artists hijack and transform iconic imagery from the fine arts and popular culture as a way to comment on contemporary concerns; Tributes to cameras and photographic paraphernalia, featuring the imaginative and unexpectedly wearable pieces of jewelry created from dismantled camera components; and finally Jewelry Beyond the Object—its social and cultural significance beyond function and conventions—expressed through cutting-edge videos and photographs.

Context for the contemporary pieces in the exhibition is provided by 19th-century photo-jewelry featuring Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes, as well as trench jewelry from the First and Second World Wars, many exhibited for the first time.

Top in New York. Jewelry and Photography at the Museum of Arts and Design

Top in New York. Jewelry and Photography at the Museum of Arts and Design


Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography is organized by MAD’s Curator of Jewelry, Ursula Ilse-Neuman, assisted by Sophia Merkin, curatorial assistant and project manager for the exhibition, and Barbara Paris Gifford, curatorial resident. The remarkable exhibition design is by Rupert Deese.

Support for Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography has been provided by Hasselblad, Kara Ross NY, Betsy Z. and Edward E. Cohen, Washington Square Hotel, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, Creative New Zealand, Janet Kardon and Frame Finland, as well as through the generosity of the Inner Circle, one of the Museum’s leadership support groups. Additional thanks to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the official airline of MAD.


EXPOSED: Contemporary Jewelers and the Photograph. Panel Discussion:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 – 6 p.m. Free.

Since the late 1830s, photographs have been integrated into jewelry as tokens of memory, devotion, or mourning. Contemporary photo-based jewelry extends these traditional functions and forms, while enlisting new technologies and techniques to engage a great variety of personal and social concerns. Organized by MAD Jewelry Curator Ursula Ilse-Neuman in collaboration with Suzanne Ramljak, editor of Metalsmith magazine, this panel discussion will address historical precedents for today’s photo jewelry and explore the wide range of cutting-edge approaches in both digital-image technology and innovative jewelry making. Through diverse combinations of these two creative practices, contemporary jewelers are expanding jewelry’s role as a carrier of cultural meaning as well as an agent of intervention on the human body.

Panelists include: Robert Ebendorf, Lauren Kalman, Lyle Rexer, and Bettina Speckner.

Curator-Led Tour of Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography:

Thursday, May 15, 2014 – 6:30 p.m. Free with Pay-What-You-Wish Admission.

MAD’s Jewelry curator Ursula Ilse-Neuman leads an hour-long tour of Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography, focusing on some of its most revelatory works.

Exhibition Designer-Led Tour of Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography:

Thursday, July 24, 2014 – 6:30 p.m. Free with Pay-What-You-Wish Admission.

Rupert Deese leads an hour-long tour of Multiple Exposures: Jewelry and Photography, focusing on some of its most revelatory works and the thinking behind the exhibition’s design and presentation.

Museum Educator-Led Tour of Multiple Exposure: Jewelry and Photography:

Thursday, August 14, 2014 – 6:30 p.m. Free with Pay-What-You-Wish Admission.

This hour-long tour with museum educator Carli Beseau will focus on the ways jewelry in the exhibition addresses photography, anonymity, and collective memory.

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