Studio jewelry dissolves the modern distinction between decorative and fine arts. The 60 pieces in this lively volume, collected by Donna Schneier and donated to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, were created primarily from the early 1960s to the present day and show a fluid engagement with various traditions in jewelry-making-from old masterworks to contemporary pieces-as well as various 20th-century art movements such as Conceptual art, Arte Povera, and Surrealism.
Unique by Design draws attention to these dazzling small works of art, most of which have never before been published. Although these pieces incorporate a variety of materials, ranging from the precious to the ordinary, they share some common traits that reflect the collector's tastes: wit, elegance, fantasy, imagination, social observation, and technical virtuosity. Above all, these works were made to be worn and to create a dynamic engagement with a body.