This exhibition started on November 10, 2017 and is on display until May 28, 2018.

There were 155 objects in this exhibition but right now we can only show you 146 of them. Some objects may not be viewable because they were on loan; this might be due to issues involving image rights or simply because there is no digitized image for the objects.

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Jewelry of Ideas: Gifts from the Susan Grant Lewin Collection
Spanning the worlds of design, craft, and art, the contemporary jewelry in this gift from the Susan Grant Lewin collection captures the diversity and achievements of over 100 jewelers from eighteen countries. For nearly four decades, Lewin has passionately supported this evolving field, cultivating personal relationships with established and emerging jewelers from across the globe.
The earliest works in the exhibition are by mid-20th-century American and European pioneers who pushed the boundaries of form and material and set the stage for future developments. These groundbreaking works are followed by highly innovative abstract compositions based on simple geometric shapes or mathematical engineering principles and others more organic in nature. A selection of painterly two-dimensional pieces serve as small canvases for the body. A major section presents content-driven jewelry that draw on themes of memory and metaphor, popular culture, the human body, and nature. Highly conceptual works comment on humankind’s desires and foibles that have long motivated our passion for jewelry.
The value of each piece lies in the unique idea of the jeweler as expressed through a mastery of materials, whether commonplace or costly, and innovative techniques that range from traditional metalsmithing to assemblage to computer-aided design. The inventive new forms prompt us to question jewelry’s history and social function, conventional standards of beauty, and relationship of scale to the human body. Extravagant metals and gemstones frequently take on a subordinate role in the designs—thus subverting the traditional notion of preciousness in jewelry.
Additional contextual information and insight into works from the Susan Grant Lewin collection may be explored at the digital tables.
Jewelry of Ideas: Gifts from the Susan Grant Lewin Collection is made possible in part by the Rotasa Fund, the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), Gallery Loupe, Sienna Patti, William P. Short III, in memory of Nancy Jean Fulop Short, Helen W. Drutt English, Kim and Al Eiber, and Ornamentum Gallery.

  • The Manhattan Piece Smoking Jewelry, 1987
  • dannemann cigarillos box, brass, rubber, resin (ureol), paper, linen (book).
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-65-a/d
  • fast ASHANTI Ring And Mold, 2002
  • cast silver (closed cycle technique) (ring), clay (mold).
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-17-a/c
  • Candy Wear Brooch And Two Bracelets, 2000
  • electroformed, assembled and soldered silver covered in electrostatically....
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-50-a/c
  • Fulfillment Necklace, 2004
  • carved and painted maple, gold-plated brass; painted wood, plexiglass (case).
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-71-a,b
  • Bracelet, 2005
  • rolled, pasted, and cut corrugated cardboard, silver.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-80-b
  • Bracelet, 1971
  • aluminum.
  • Museum purchase from Decorative Arts Association Acquisition Fund.
  • 1993-114-14-a,b
  • This object is no longer on display as part of this exhibition.
  • Hot Bed Brooch And Case, 2006
  • silver, carved wood fragment, coral (brooch); handmade paper (box).
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-72-a,b
  • Brooch, 2005
  • rolled, pasted, and cut corrugated cardboard, silver.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-80-a
  • Signature Piece Necklace, 2005
  • mass-produced metal-rimmed key tags, ink.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-99
  • Necklace, 2010
  • enameled steel, steel, silver, sawn, embossed, enamelled, mounted.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-97
  • Twisted Circles Brooch, 2001
  • cold connected - riveted stainless steel and acrylic.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-96
  • Tropical Punch Necklace, 2006
  • glass, crystal, resin, metal and plastic beads, ribbon, thread, gold.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-95
  • Three Cone Necklace Necklace, 1982
  • gold, nickel alloy, unglazed stoneware (jasperware).
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-94
  • No 953 Brooch, 2004
  • painted wood, plastic, silver, painted acrylic.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-93
  • Continuum Brooch, 2007
  • silver, sealing wax.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-92
  • Canvas Brooch, 2014
  • painted canvas on wood, applied tin, silver, iron.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-91
  • LAPIS Necklace, 1997
  • ground jade mixed and cast with acrylic resin, gold.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-90
  • Cono Brooch, 2015
  • stoneware (gres ceramic), gold with neillo (alloy of silver,copper, and lead....
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-9
  • Bracelet, 2009
  • polyurethane resin.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-84
  • Necklace, ca. 1975
  • silver.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-83
  • Brooch, ca. 1985
  • gold, silver, copper, nickel silver (argentan).
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-82
  • Brooch, 1990
  • colorcore formica, metal (pin).
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-81