The De Patta Project:
New jewelry from old stones acquired from the estate of Margaret De Patta (1903-1964)
In February, The Oakland Museum of California will open Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta, an exhibition of the jeweler’s pioneering modernist work. This retrospective will travel to the Museum of Art and Design in New York City in June 2012.
Studio jeweler Margaret De Patta blended Constructivist principals with Bauhaus design to create miniature sculpture that moved with its wearer. Based in the Bay Area, De Patta, who studied with Bauahus sculptor Moholy-Nagy in Chicago is credited with starting the American studio jewelry movement on the West Coast. The Oakland Museum holds the largest collection of De Patta’s work, most of which was donated by her husband Eugene Bielawski after the artist’s untimely death in 1964. De Patta and experimental lapidary artist Francis J. Sperisen explored the optical effects of faceting and lenses on gemstones to create wearable sculpture unlike any jewelry of the time. The De Patta Project
was born when Velvet da Vinci purchased a group of unset stones from the estate of Margaret De Patta. There are beautiful cut stones by Francis J. Sperisen, cabochon stones, and beach pebbles found by De Patta. De Patta’s non-tradtional use of gemstones and non-precious pebbles are the key to understanding the importance of her influence in the field of contemporary jewelry. 15 jewelers have now used these stones to create pieces for an exhibition opening at the same time as the Oakland Museum De Patta retrospective. The De Patta Project exhibition also includes De Patta’s original drawings of unrealized jewelry pieces and tools from her famed workshop. This exhibition will open on February 1, with an artists' reception on Friday, February 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Maja Bennett, Deborah Boskin, Petra Class, Sandra Enterline, Geoffrey Giles, Joanna Gollberg, April Higashi, Tom Hill, Dave Jones, Terri Logan, Deb Lozier, Dawn Nakanishi, Brigid O’Hanrahan, Julia Turner, Andrea Williams
For more information on the exhibition Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta at the Oakland Museum of California, please visit this link: