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Jewelry on the Edge

Sat, Jun 27 / 2 pm ET

On the occasion of the publication of Sam Kramer: Jeweler on the Edge, author and art historian Toni Greenbaum will join us for a virtual panel discussion on midcentury American studio jewelry with leading voices in contemporary jewelry: MAD curator Barbara Paris Gifford, writer and curator Benjamin Lignel, and gallerist Mark McDonald. The discussion will focus on the work of artists Margaret De Patta, Ed Wiener, and Kramer, whose jewelry from the Museum’s permanent collection are included in the exhibition 45 Stories in Jewelry: 1947 to Now.

If you are a Trustee, Patron, or Luminaries member, please contact Catherine Farrell at to receive instructions for joining this program.


Barbara Paris Gifford is an associate curator of the Museum with expertise in contemporary jewelry and adornment. She oversees MAD’s jewelry collection and recently organized 45 Stories in Jewelry:1947 to Now, an exhibition of jewelry from the Museum’s permanent collection. The editor of the exhibition’s forthcoming catalog, she has written about jewelry for numerous publications and has been a speaker for many discussions and symposiums, including Schmucksymposium Zimmerhof 2019.

Toni Greenbaum is a New York-based art historian specializing in twentieth and twenty-first century jewelry and metalwork. She wrote Messengers of Modernism: American Studio Jewelry 1940-1960, along with numerous book chapters, exhibition catalogs, and essays for arts publications. Her recently published monograph on modernist jeweler Sam Kramer investigates Kramer as both a seminal artist and a cult personality. An advisor for the exhibition 45 Stories in Jewelry, Greenbaum contributed writings on Kramer and Karl Fritsch to both the exhibition and the catalog. She has lectured internationally and worked on exhibitions for several museums, including the V&A in London, and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. Greenbaum is a Professor at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches a course in Theory and Criticism of Contemporary Jewelry.

Benjamin Lignel is an educator, writer, curator and artist. A founding member of la garantie, association pour le bijou, Lignel co-curated also known as jewellery (2008), MirrorMirror (2011), Difference and Repetition (2013), Exposé (2017), Medusa, Jewellery and Taboos (2017) at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris and Tableau Vivant (2018) at the Pinakothek der Moderne / the Design Museum, Munich. Lignel became a member of Think Tank. A European Initiative for the Applied Arts in 2009. As editor of Art Jewelry Forum from 2013 to 2016, Lignel oversaw the publication of more than 350 essays, reviews, and interviews, and edited three books, including the first book-length study of jewelry exhibition-making. He is guest teacher at Alchimia (Florence), HDK (Gothenburg), core faculty at the M.A. in Critical Craft Studies (Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa) and supervisor of a two-year writer’s program with Handshake (Wellington). He is on the editorial advisory board of Norwegian Crafts (Oslo) and of the Journal of Jewellery Research (Loughborough). His work is represented in several public collections.

One of America's most influential dealers of twentieth century design, Mark McDonald has played a key role in building the international market for midcentury furniture, ceramics, and glass. After starting his career at Lillian Nassau, the New York gallery of Tiffany and Art Nouveau, McDonald was one of the co-founders of the legendary Fifty/50, the first gallery in New York to focus on modernism, and whose contents were sold at Sotheby's in 1993. McDonald then opened Gansevoort Gallery in New York's Meatpacking District, and over the past decade has owned Mark McDonald Ltd. in Hudson, NY.


Roc Pendant, 1958
Sam Kramer (United States, 1913–1964)
4 3/4 x 2 1/4 x 3/4 in. (12.1 x 5.7 x 1.9 cm)
Sterling silver, 14k gold, ivory, horn, taxidermy eye, coral, tourmaline, garnet; cast, fabricated
Museum of Arts and Design, New York; purchased by the American Craft Council, 1967

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