Association for the Study of Jewelry Event Will Tackle Jewelry in America

The Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts (ASJRA) has announced that its 15th annual conference will be held April 4 at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. The theme will be Jewelry in America, which is similar to the moniker of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s current jewelry exhibition and ties in to the event’s programming (more on that in a second). 

Open to the public, the event is a forum for curators, academic historians, scholars, and artists to present new and interesting information about jewelry. According to the organization, it’s a chance to learn and network with people who collect, appraise, study, and research jewelry history. As an entity, ASJRA focuses on the advancement of jewelry studies. It takes a broad approach to the subject, using jewelry “as a window into the study of cultures and specific time periods and to learn about politics, cultural changes, and world events,” according to organization literature. 

The event will include an optional Study Day, capping at 25 guests, scheduled for April 3. The Study Day will include a curator’s tour of the “Jewelry for America” exhibition at the Met with Beth Carver Wees, the Ruth Bigelow Wriston Curator of American Decorative Arts at the museum. (The day’s agenda also includes a group luncheon and a guided tour of the nearby and historic Mount Vernon Hotel Museum.)

Wees will also be the keynote speaker the following day, as part of a program that will include the following speakers: John Nels Hatleberg, a conceptual gem artist recognized for his work with jewels and “the creation of exact replicas of famous diamonds since 1987,” according to ASJRA; independent curator and scholar Jeannine Falino, who’s currently curating a retrospective of Betty Cooke’s work for the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore (she will discuss Cooke); Tom Herman, a well-known artisan goldsmith who will analyze plique-à-jour jewelry by Marcus & Co. and the Montilja Poppy Brooch Project; curator and writer Lois Sherr Dubin, who will speak on Native North American flower beadwork; and author, curator, and ASJRA codirector Elyse Zorn Karlin, who will give three mini lectures on the jewelry of Peter Lindenauer, Robert Lee Morris, and Diamond Jim Brady. 

The price of the two-day conference for non-ASJRA members is $350. Register here.

Top: A circa-1868 Tiffany & Co. brooch on display at the “Jewelry for America” exhibit at the Met (photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

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