The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) recently bestowed its Honorary Member Award on Imogene “Tex” Gieling in recognition of a lifetime of achievements in the metal arts field. The award ceremony and slide presentation on her life and work were the highlight of the final banquet of SNAG’s annual conference in San Francisco in May.
Gieling was a pioneer in the metal arts in the Bay area—an artist, educator, visionary, and philanthropist. During her career, which spanned decades, she influenced a generation of teachers in the field while continuing her own work in metals. In 1956, she founded the metals department at the University of California Berkeley, and 10 years later founded the metals department at San Francisco State University. Most recently, Gieling permanently endowed the Imogene Gieling Curator of Crafts and Decorative Arts position—currently held by Dr. Suzanne Baizerman—at the Oakland Museum of California. Her jewelry has been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad, and she has completed numerous public and private commissions including one for the San Francisco Arts Commission.