Events & Awards

See a Preview of the Vintage Jewelry Design Exhibition Coming Stateside

Events & AwardsJun 21, 2021

See a Preview of the Vintage Jewelry Design Exhibition Coming Stateside

“Simply Brilliant: Artist-Jewelers of the 1960s and 1970s” is headed to the Cincinnati Art Museum this fall.

Chopard (Swiss, est. 1860), Alexandra Watch, circa 1971, gold, diamonds, lapis lazuli, Courtesy of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Collection of Kimberly Klosterman, Photography by Tony Walsh
Cincinnati—An important jewelry collection with Midwestern roots has traveled around the world before finally making its hometown debut.

Coming to the Cincinnati Art Museum this fall, “Simply Brilliant: Artist-Jewelers of the 1960s and 1970s” explores the radical period in jewelry design that accompanied major shifts in society, marked by the civil rights movement, women’s movement, the space race, rock ‘n’ roll, hippie culture and the birth control pill. 

Just as young people were breaking with the expectations laid by generations before them, a number of jewelry designers leaned into the freedom of their own unencumbered self-expression.

Values like non-conformity and individuality appear in these designers’ work. 

The 120 pieces in the “Simply Brilliant” exhibition feature works from designers like Andrew Grima, Gilbert Albert, Arthur King, Jean Vendome, Barbara Anton, Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co., Bulgari and Cartier.

Every piece is from the collection of Cincinnati jewelry lover Kimberly Klosterman, and curated by the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Chief Curator and Curator of Fashion Arts and Textiles Cynthia Amnéus.

Amnéus remarked, “The jewelry in this exhibition is remarkable and examines a period in body adornment that is rarely explored or understood. You think about the rather prim jewelry of the 1950s, then suddenly these artist-jewelers are creating pieces that were big and bold.

“The work was overwhelmingly large, primarily gold and incorporated some very unusual materials. It was a new day. The times were changing and art, fashion, jewelry, all responded.”

Per the museum, the designers featured in Klosterman’s impressive personal collection considered themselves artists first and jewelry designers second. Their interest was in breaking away with fine jewelry norms, attracting a customer who appreciated standing out and being different from her counterparts.

Though every piece showcases its creator’s unique point-of-view, common visual themes are the use of yellow gold and large, abstracted shapes reminiscent of the Space Age.

Many designers experimented with unusual materials, incorporating coral, shells, geodes, and even elephant hair. Less expensive gemstones like lapis lazuli, tiger’s eye and moldavite feature more prominently than traditional diamonds, for example.

The exhibition’s accompanying catalogue, edited by Amnéus, puts the work into context, featuring designer or jewelry house biographies, essays from a number of scholars, full color images and details on certain pieces.

“Simply Brilliant” debuted last year in Antwerp, Belgium at the DIVA Museum for Diamonds, Jewellery and Silver, then traveled to Pforzheim, Germany’s Pforzheim Jewellery Museum.

It will finally make its hometown appearance at the Cincinnati Art Museum from Oct. 22 through Feb. 6. 

The exhibition will be presented for free and will kick off with a member preview on Thursday, Oct. 21, featuring a lecture from Italian jewelry scholar Amanda Triossi.

 Related stories will be right here … 
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

MajorsNov 24, 2021
Here Are This Year’s Black Friday Jewelry, Watch Deals

From Amazon to Zales, several retailers have deals lined up for the shopping holiday.

MajorsNov 24, 2021
Former JCK Associate Publisher Donna Borrelli Dies

The longtime industry veteran had a breakthrough case of COVID-19.

MajorsNov 24, 2021
Samuel B Has Now Donated More Than 1M Meals to Feeding America

The company donates 10 meals to the nonprofit for every piece of jewelry it sells.

Brought to you by
Train Your Staff Today with Interactive eLearning

Join the prestigious brands, industry organizations and sellers using IGI’s educational services.

CollectionsNov 24, 2021
Piece of the Week: Sorellina’s Lover’s Bypass Ring

It’s double the toi et moi fun.

Weekly QuizNov 23, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of Nov. 22-26, 2021.
Take the Quiz
ColumnistsNov 23, 2021
When Did You Know You Wanted To Be in Sales?

A question from an astute young relative has Peter Smith pondering this question in his latest column.

Policies & IssuesNov 23, 2021
BIJC Has an I.D.E.A for Diversity Training in 2022

Starting in January, the Black in Jewelry Coalition will host webinars on addressing racial injustice and encountering racism in retail.

Brought to you by
3 Tips For Entering the Estate Market

Generate foot traffic and expand your jewelry expertise by adding an estate assortment to your store in partnership with Windsor Jewelers, Inc.

SourcingNov 23, 2021
Parlé, Gem Legacy Team Up for Giving Tuesday Fundraising Campaign

Parlé will match donations up to $15,000 in an effort to build houses for teachers at a Tanzanian primary school.