“I admire Barbara Berk’s jewelry both for its aesthetic quality—the undulating lines and feeling of movement—and for its excellence in technique. Each piece is perfectly formed and executed,” said Karlin, who is also author of Jewelry and Metalwork in the Arts & Crafts Tradition, and past president of the American Society of Jewelry Historians. “I wanted a piece of her jewelry to be in the important collection that the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is building for posterity. It is an exciting time when jewelry is finally getting the recognition it deserves in the museum world.”
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is a major jewelry resource center. Its collection of jewelry and adornments spans 6,000 years of civilization on several continents and represents a wide array of materials, techniques and functions.
Berk created her “S-Curve Brooch” by weaving 18k gold sheet and wire by hand, flat, off loom, in an “over1, under 1” Plain Weave pattern, and then shaping the precious “fabric” into a three-dimensional form. A separate stickpin—featuring a 14.20 ct. citrine carved by Sherris Cottier Shank—used as an attachment mechanism, enables the sculptural woven gold to be worn as a brooch.
“I’m delighted by Elyse Zorn Karlin’s admiration of my handwoven jewels, and very much appreciate the generosity of her donation,” said Berk. “I am deeply honored to have my work represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.”
Barbara M. Berk Designs is located in Foster City, Calif.