This silver neck ring and five interchangeable pendants are part of a group of jewelry offered as a gift to the collection as a bequest from the original owner. The group, which also includes a gold ring, represents a sampling of Art Smith's work in precious metals and a variety of stones. The individual pieces speak not only of mid-20th-century trends in jewelry design but also of the designer and his friendship with the donor, Merle Sternberg.
The neck ring and pendants feature stones that Sternberg and her husband found on a beach. Smith created and worked the silver and silver wire forms, incorporating the polished stones specifically for Sternberg. The resulting design shows another side of Smith’s creativity—each object expresses a sentimental meaning in addition to the organic, free-form aesthetic that characterizes Smith's work.
At the time of proposed acquisition, the museum’s collection includes two works by Smith, a silver bracelet and a pair of gold earrings (ca. 1950), which are different in character from the group of jewelry under consideration. The addition of these pieces would help the museum better tell Smith’s story and the story of 20th-century American jewelry design.
This object was
It is credited
Bequest of Merle Sternberg.
Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 5.2 x 2.1 x 1.4 cm (2 1/16 x 13/16 x 9/16 in.)
Cite this object as
Pendant (USA); Designed by Art Smith (American, 1917–1982); silver, rose quartz; H x W x D: 5.2 x 2.1 x 1.4 cm (2 1/16 x 13/16 x 9/16 in.); Bequest of Merle Sternberg; 2014-16-2-f