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Object Timeline

-0001

1947

  • Work on this object began.

1991

  • We acquired this object.

2015

2019

  • You found it!

Dancer Brooch, 1947

This is a Brooch. It was designed by Ed Wiener. It is dated 1947 and we acquired it in 1991. Its medium is silver. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Self-taught jewelry designer Ed Wiener was part of the 1940s bohemian modernist movement of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and downtown Manhattan. He learned to make jewelry using plumbers’ and carpenters’ tools, and retained an affinity for the craftsmanship of design. The abstract form is based on dance photographer Barbara Morgan’s 1940 image of Martha Graham, a now famous portrait. Graham was a leader of early twentieth-century modern dance. Rather than display smooth, lyrical motions, she focused on the contraction and release of muscles, resulting in a mix of hard, angular and soft body formations considered radical at the time. Dance is necessarily transient, but through photography, Morgan instilled permanence in a striking moment; Wiener’s abstraction of that moment gives it a new life, a new movement, and a new permanence. In the moment captured, Graham’s body is horizontal, with her right elbow bent and her hand to her head and her left arm stretched straight back as her left leg kicks into the air and her long dress flows, creating a wing-like shape behind her. In Wiener’s rendition, sheet silver forms the body, dress, and right arm while one wire relays the head and left arm and a second the skirt ruffle.

It is credited Gift of Michele Wiener.

  • Chair (USA), ca. 1948
  • slumped plate glass, metal, textile.
  • Museum purchase through gift of George R. Kravis II and from General....
  • 2013-1-1
  • Brooch, 1998
  • sawn and mounted silver.
  • The Susan Grant Lewin Collection, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.
  • 2016-34-14

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 8 x 9.8 x 0.7 cm (3 1/8 x 3 7/8 x 1/4 in.)

Cite this object as

Dancer Brooch, 1947; Designed by Ed Wiener (American, 1918 - 1991); USA; silver; H x W x D: 8 x 9.8 x 0.7 cm (3 1/8 x 3 7/8 x 1/4 in.); Gift of Michele Wiener; 1991-169-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18636049/ |title=Dancer Brooch, 1947 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=26 April 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>