10 Breathtaking Baubles From the Museum of Arts and Design’s ‘LOOT’ Exhibition

Think of them as wearable sculpture.

Brooches by Melanie Tomlinson. Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.
Earrings by Nikki Couppee. Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Earrings by Nikki Couppee.
Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Unless you’re a self-proclaimed accessories fiend (though, if so, welcome to the club), it’s unlikely you’ve given much thought to the possibility of jewelry as a kind of sculpture. Sure, fashion folk are quick to dub especially distinguished designs “wearable art,” but when was the last time you actually gazed at a brooch or a ring in an art museum? Luckily, the Museum of Arts and Design is poised to get you into the habit with their annual “LOOT” exhibition and sale.

With pieces by 55 contemporary jewelry designers from 21 countries, there’s something for everyone, from the bohemian flower child to the wacky Pop enthusiast to the minimalist sophisticate. There’s even a necklace made to look like a string of small, sliced-open avocados, just in case you have the kind of flare needed to pull off such a thing.

Necklace by Gerda and Nikolai Monies. Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Necklace by Gerda and Nikolai Monies.
Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

“We are continually presented with a wealth of opportunities at museums, galleries, and in public places to see and become engaged with contemporary art,” exhibition curator and jewelry specialist Bryna Pomp told artnet News in an email. “It’s quite a different situation when it comes to art jewelry, as there are scant occasions to see what is being created.”

Pomp notes that the jewelry one chooses to wear tends to feel personal in a way that the art we display on our walls and even the clothes that cover our bodies do not. But unlike art, which its easy to appreciate without being a collector, jewelry is rarely put on display outside of its context on the female body.

Necklace by Jin Ah Jo.  Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Necklace by Jin Ah Jo.
Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

“It is my personal perception that unfortunately people feel a bit more comfortable displaying contemporary art in their home or office more than on their self,” she said. “In other words, I sense a certain conservatism in many people’s choice of jewelry until they are made aware of this still largely under-developed area of  jewelry. Once someone recognizes the possibilities that studio and art jewelry present, they’re hooked and I think they seek to begin a collection of jewelry that can be as interesting as the art in their home.”

Below, see our picks for ten pieces we’d be thrilled to have in our personal jewelry box.

 

Necklace by Ana Hagopian.  Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Necklace by Ana Hagopian.
Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Earrings by Barbara and Nicolette Lebole. Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Earrings by Barbara and Nicolette Lebole.
Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Neckpiece by Chao-Hsien Kuo. Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Neckpiece by Chao-Hsien Kuo.
Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Collar by Danielle Gori-Montanelli. Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Collar by Danielle Gori-Montanelli.
Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Earrings by Lauren Klassen. Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Earrings by Lauren Klassen.
Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Brooches by Melanie Tomlinson. Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Brooches by Melanie Tomlinson.
Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Necklace by Veronica Guiduzzi. Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

Necklace by Veronica Guiduzzi.
Photo: Courtesy Museum of Art and Design.

LOOT 2015” will be on display at the Museum of Art and Design from September 29-October 3, 2015, with a private preview on September 28.


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