Museum of Arts and Design’s contemporary jewelry pop-up returns for the holiday edition


The Museum of Arts and Design will present the twenty-first edition of MAD About Jewelry (formerly LOOT: MAD About Jewelry), its annual exhibition and sale of unique contemporary jewelry. Open to the public with free admission, December 7-11, following the opening benefit honoring contemporary crafts educator and advocate Helen Drutt English on December 6, MAD About Jewelry 2021 showcases the work of over 40 emerging jewelry pieces. and acclaimed US-based artists. For collectors, connoisseurs and anyone who shares an interest in the interplay between art and design, MAD About Jewelry offers an unparalleled opportunity to converse and acquire pieces from some of the most innovative designers in the field. in support of the museum’s exhibits and education programs.

This year MAD About Jewelry will also include special shopping experiences with Of Rare Origin and Pamela Love. Founded by a mother and her two daughters, Of Rare Origin creates whimsical jewelry, handcrafted in collaboration with Italian artisans, imbued with their playful spirit. This includes the Aviary Classic ring that Oprah Winfrey gifted to Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in US history, to wear during the 2021 presidential inauguration ceremony. Their mobile pop-up, known as the “Truck-Show”, will be parked in the museum lobby from Monday December 6 to Wednesday December 8, where visitors will be transported to Italy to purchase signature pieces, taste an Aperol Spritz, write postcards at home and mingle with other jewelry lovers.

On Wednesday, December 8, MAD About Jewelry will host a Piercing Party with jewelry designer Pamela Love who will be on hand to advise on personalized ear piercings for buyers of the award-winning brand’s piercing jewelry. Appointments for piercings must be booked in advance by email [email protected].

The MAD About Jewelry Opening Benefit, which includes the first access to the selection of jewelry from participating artists, will be held on December 6 at the famous Robert du Musée restaurant and will include the presentation of the MAD About Jewelry Award to a esteemed educator and advocate for the contemporary craftsmanship. Helen Drutt English.

“The MAD About Jewelry Award is presented to luminaries in the field and, in recent years, has honored legendary figures such as Josie Natori, Iris Apfel, Joyce L. Scott and Kay Unger,” said Michele Cohen, President of the board of directors of MAD and MAD About Jewelry. Member of the advisory committee. “This year, we are extremely proud to honor Helen Drutt English, esteemed educator and collector of contemporary crafts, former gallery owner and long-time champion of MAD’s commitment to researching and presenting jewelry as a form of art. Helen co-authored Jewelry of Our Time with Peter Dormer, a seminal book on studio jewelry. Having assembled one of the largest international jewelry collections, organized and lectured around the world, and linked to Friendship with countless prominent artists and designers, Helen is nothing less than a visionary who transformed our understanding and appreciation of craftsmanship. “

At the public sale, which is free to enter, the public will encounter a wide range of creative practices, from the ancient technique of granulation to hand knitting to digital manufacturing. Inspired by nature, climate action, space, history, family and a myriad of other hot topics, artists use traditional metals and gemstones, as well as unusual materials for jewelry such as porcelain, steel, photography, etc. .

“The artists selected for MAD About Jewelry 2021 are supreme storytellers and extremely skilled makers,” said MAD About Jewelry director Bryna Pomp. “Each piece presented deeply expresses the ideals and aesthetics of the artist. The opportunity for visitors to engage with this diversity and caliber of artists and to learn more about the inspiration, technique and the process of these designers is what makes MAD About Jewelry a shopping experience like no other.When a piece is purchased, a permanent bond is established between the collector and the artist.

MAD About jewelry acquisition price

Awarded annually by a jury at the opening preview, the MAD About Jewelry Acquisition Award recognizes a MAD About Jewelry artist or designer whose work reflects artistic and conceptual maturity, exhibits both superior understanding and experimental of materials and form, and demonstrates expertise in technique and execution. MAD’s permanent collection includes nearly a thousand pieces of jewelry, spanning the mid-20th century to the present day. The MAD About Jewelry Acquisition award signifies the museum’s goal of keeping the collection relevant in the field today and a piece by the winning artist (s) is added to it, thus reflecting the best works of modern practitioners. Previous winners include Mariko Kusumoto (2019) and Joo Hyung Park (2019).

MAD About Jewelry 2021 is chaired by LaVon Kellner, Deidre Quinn, Kay Unger and advisory board members Susan Ach, Michele Cohen, Marsy Mittlemann, Ted Taylor and Barbara Waldman.

Highlights of the artist

The artists and jewelry designers featured in MAD About Jewelry 2021 are:

Sunyoung Cheong integrates technology with traditional metallurgy to create her visual narrative; combining precious metals with mixed media such as resin, fabric, wood, 3D printed paper and vitreous enamel, and the lost wax casting process. Recent work reflects the artist’s interest in bees, which she uses as a recurring motif in her works to raise awareness of the environmental value of bees and the importance of sustainable communities.

Ben Dory is fascinated by the mechanics of granulation, an ancient technique by which small spheres, mostly gold, are fused together using a blowtorch or furnace. A pioneer in the pelletizing technique of stainless steel, Dory uses special machines, including a tiny silver vacuum cleaner, to micro-weld steel pellets to each other and to a base surface. Exploring the possibilities of her technique, Dory’s style shifts from scientific and molecular to emotional and ornate, reminiscent of the Victorian era with all its frills.

Jade Gedeon works primarily in brass, crafting organic shapes and playful patterns inspired by a myriad of artistic and design movements. By reinventing the classics and refining the tradition, she creates witty and surprising pieces, remarkable for their bright colors and rich patinas. Each piece of the line originating in Trinidad is handcrafted and assembled by an all-female team, with an emphasis on durability.

Xinia Guan works with sterling silver, which she stretches and bends, in a process that begins with a circle and ends with a different shape. From the simplest observations in nature to the detailed measurement of intricate shapes, Guan finds geometry, pattern and form everywhere and is fascinated by contrast and unity, organization and repetition.

MoAnA Luu reinvents the evolution of Creole jewelry and honors the rich and diverse cultural tapestry of the French Antilles. Her debut collection features playful, stackable gender-neutral pieces with bold geometric details, evoking effortless modern elegance crafted with cultural authenticity. Each piece is handcrafted by local New York artisans in 18k gold vermeil and sterling silver to mimic woven cane. Early Luu fans included Gwyneth Paltrow and Mary J. Blige, and Cardi B. donned ManLuu bracelets for her second pregnancy announcement in the summer of 2021.

Michael Nashef was born in war-torn Lebanon, and he saw a lot of beautiful architecture damaged and destroyed. Influenced by the vernacular of architecture and building materials, Nashef builds structures that double as vessels: distilled representations of war-ruined buildings, whose functional resilience comes from the stability and strength of cement with which he works. He also makes nylon jewelry printed in 3D, whose lightness brings an ironic complement to his concrete works. By bringing together the aesthetics and materials of his jewelry, he asks the wearer and the viewer to create a connection with their surroundings, realizing that there is no perfection, only an adaptation to our current situation.

Tiffany Vanderhoop makes handmade pearl earrings with brass accents. A descendant of the Haida and Aquinnah Wampanoag tribes, she incorporates traditional geometric weaving patterns into her beadwork. Her designs represent an unbroken thread to her ancestors and serve as wearable tributes to the survival of textile art forms and the resilience of Indigenous peoples. Vanderhoop was one of several Indigenous designers worn by first Native American cabinet member and current US Home Secretary Deb Haaland when she featured on the cover of the August 2021 issue of Instyle magazine.


Museum of Arts and Design
2 Columbus Circle, New York, NY


Monday December 6, 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.


Tuesday December 7 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday December 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday December 9 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday December 10 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday December 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Free entry. Reserve timed tickets online.


About Carlos V. Mitchell

Check Also

Wood Whittler proudly displays pieces at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art

For whittler Rod Cross of Bear Rocks, there is life in every block of wood. …