Sunday, July 21, 2024

Driehaus Museum Unveils Rare Jewels from Chicago Collections

Chicago—The Driehaus Museum in Chicago is presenting a unique exhibition titled “Chicago Collects: Jewelry in Perspective,” featuring an array of rare and historically significant jewelry from prominent Chicago collections. The exhibition, which began in May, will be open to the public until September 23.

The Driehaus Museum, renowned for its focus on the art, architecture, and design of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, has curated this exhibition to showcase over 200 pieces of jewelry spanning from the late 17th century to contemporary times.

This unprecedented display includes items from the Richard H. Driehaus Collection, the Chicago History Museum, the Field Museum, and the Lizzardo Museum of Lapidary Art, alongside loans from other Chicago institutions, collections, and private lenders.

Elyse Zorn Karlin, a noted jewelry historian and author who previously curated the museum’s 2015 exhibition “Maker and Muse: Women and 20th Century Art Jewelry,” organized the exhibition. Karlin emphasized the unique nature of this collection, stating, “Chicago Collects has a broad thesis that allows us to show a variety of jewelry from across centuries, but what all the works have in common are their origins—they all come from Chicago collectors.” She added that many pieces have never been shown publicly before and highlight various periods and styles in jewelry history, including contemporary works by Chicago goldsmiths.

The exhibition is arranged by stylistic periods of jewelry history and then categorized by collecting interests such as Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Vienna Secession, British Arts & Crafts, Chicago Arts & Crafts, 19th Century Revival, Belle Époque, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Art Deco, Fabergé, Important Makers, Tiaras, and Mid-Century Modern and Contemporary Jewelry. Noteworthy items include loans from the Field Museum from the 1893 World’s Fair, a rare silver piece by Paul Revere, Jr., a handcrafted silver punch bowl from the Cliff Dwellers Club, and jewelry renderings by Art Nouveau master René Lalique. Additionally, pieces from the Arts & Crafts Movement, including those from Chicago’s Kalo Shop, will be featured.

Lisa Key, Executive Director of the Driehaus Museum, remarked, “Chicago Collects: Jewelry in Perspective continues our commitment to presenting new research and ideas around decorative art, and honors the collecting legacy of our founder, Richard H. Driehaus. The exhibition brings audiences closer to a very personal art form—jewelry—to show how history can add new perspectives to our everyday lives.” She expressed enthusiasm for working again with Elyse Karlin, whose expertise in jewelry is unparalleled.

“Chicago Collects: Jewelry in Perspective” is on view at the Driehaus Museum, located at 40 E. Erie Street, until September 23.

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