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Isabelle Molénat and Sarran Youkongdee Win MAD's Third Annual LOOT Acquisition Prize

LOOT: MAD About Jewelry
April 16, 2018 – April 21, 2018

New York, NY (April 20, 2018)

This week, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) announced Isabelle Molénat and Sarran Youkongdee as the winners of the third annual LOOT Acquisition Prize. Awarded on the occasion of the eighteenth edition of LOOT: MAD About Jewelry, the Museum’s annual exhibition and sale of contemporary art jewelry, this year’s prize will result in the acquisition of two jewelry works, Molénat’s Collection Knots Necklace (2018) and Youkongdee’s Siam Rattikarn (2017), for MAD’s permanent collection.

“We are thrilled to add these two new works to the Museum’s collection, as they continue our tradition of support for new artists and new thinking in the field of studio jewelry and wearable art,” said Shannon R. Stratton, Chief Curator at MAD.

“Both pieces are contemporary expressions of craft processes and material explorations present in the Museum’s collection,” said Assistant Curator Barbara Paris Gifford. “We were impressed with the caliber of artistry and technical ability displayed in these handmade pieces.”

Awarded by a jury, the LOOT Acquisition Prize seeks to recognize a LOOT jewelry artist whose work reflects a maturity in artistry and concept; exhibits both a superior and experimental understanding of materials and form; and demonstrates expertise in technique and execution. Chaired by William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator Shannon R. Stratton and Assistant Curator Barbara Paris Gifford, the jury this year included LOOT Curator Bryna Pomp; LOOT Chair Marsy Mittlemann; and Michele Cohen, Chair of the Museum’s Board of Trustees.

Textile jewelry designer Isabelle Molénat lives and works in Toulouse, France. More than ornaments, she considers her jewels to be messengers, carrying stories about our heritage and linking us to other times. Her “Knots” collection represents the tying and resolution of these links, to understand their meaning and impact. Molénat sees the process of creation as an interplay between technique and chance: the technique represents the past, while the chance represents the present. She works in silk and eco-prints her fabric using dye from carefully selected plants, which produce tannins that change through the seasons. Molénat uses the dyed silk to make sheathed ribbons, which she then weaves to create wearable textile sculptures.

Thai jeweler Sarran Youkongdee began his jewelry practice in 2008. Inspired by the rich culture and heritage of his birth country, he creates art to wear, characterized by flowers and an artistry that pays tribute to women past and present. His creations are amalgamations of elaborate designs and royal handicrafts from the past, made with contemporary materials. Deeply interested in women’s role in Thai society, he combines modern beauty and ancient wisdom to create pieces that speak to women of all generations.

LOOT: MAD About Jewelry reflects the Museum of Arts and Design’s commitment to the exploration of materials and process, as well as its long-standing presentation of jewelry as an art form. MAD is the only American museum with a gallery dedicated to the display of both temporary jewelry exhibits and its own collection of contemporary and modern studio and art jewelry, comprising more than nine hundred pieces. The LOOT Acquisition Prize formalizes the Museum’s goal of enhancing its collection by acquiring jewelry from artists who have made significant contributions to the field and whose work provides historical context for MAD’s mid- to late-twentieth-century pieces, as well as from emerging artists who are an important force in the contemporary art jewelry scene.

The inaugural LOOT Acquisition Prize was awarded to designer Alena Willroth in 2016. In 2017, the prize was awarded to Sunyoung Kim and Ute van der Plaats. Past LOOT artists who have had works acquired by the Museum include the well-established art jeweler Iris Nieuwenburg and the emerging jewelry artist Casey Sobel.


A full list of the LOOT 2018 artists is included below. Bios and images of their work may be found at


Katerina Anastasiou
Gian Luca Bartellone
Mercedes Castro Corbat
Bongsang Cho
Tania Clarke Hall
Martina Dempf
Anna Dubessy
Gaëtan Essayie
Shelby Fitzpatrick
Fabiana Gadano
Tassa Ganidou
Grace Girvan
Jed Green
Lene Hald
Tina Karageorgi
Roland Kawczynski
Catherine Le Gal
Stefania Lucchetta

Andra Lupu
Joan MacKarell
Lynne MacLachlan
Asagi Maeda
Isabelle Molénat
Gerda and Nikolai Monies
Monica Nesseler
Marianne Olry
Beatriz Palacios
Jounghye Park
Beatrice Pieroni Lubé
Anna Porcu
Shenhav Russo
Joanne Thompson
Christopher Thompson Royds
Roberta and David Williamson
Sarran Youkongdee


Tuesday, April 17:
Wednesday, April 18:
Thursday, April 19:
Friday, April 20:
Saturday, April 21:

10 am to 6 pm
10 am to 6 pm
10 am to 9 pm
10 am to 6 pm
10 am to 6 pm

LOOT takes place at the Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, New York City. Entrance to LOOT is included in the price of Museum admission.

LOOT 2018 Corporate Sponsor: Paolo Costagli

LOOT 2018 Media Sponsor: Avenue Magazine


Paolo Costagli New York is a fine jewelry brand recognized for its sophisticated, modern, and distinctly bold designs. The essence of the Paolo Costagli brand is to be as current as the woman who wears it. At its core is the creativity and technical expertise of its founder, Paolo Costagli. The Italian landscape and architectural details of his upbringing in Florence and Venice are evident in his creations: clean geometries, an acute attention to proportions, and unique color combinations.

Regarded as an authority on color gemstones and rare diamonds, Costagli studied to become a Graduate Gemologist at the renowned Gemological Institute of America. He then pushed further, beyond the laboratory and standard course of studies, to experience firsthand the unearthing process. This unusual experience of formal studies combined with an applied knowledge formed a dynamic background, and Costagli has an understanding of the fine jewelry industry that is truly rare. His talents as a designer and expertise as a gemologist have been recognized by the most influential institutions in the industry. His iconic Brillante collection was awarded the Couture Design Award in the Gold Category the year that the collection debuted at the Couture Show. His gemstone creations are also celebrated for their unique settings and quality of materials, and his Eternitá capsule collection was awarded the InDesign Award in 2016.

The Paolo Costagli collection is so avant-garde in its design, executed at the most elevated level of craftsmanship while using the most exquisite materials, that it blurs the line dividing fine jewelry and art. A testament to this is a bracelet from the Brillante collection, part of the Museum of Arts and Design’s permanent collection. At LOOT this year, Paolo Costagli New York debuted the never-before-seen Silver Collection, inspired by the brand’s award-winning Brillante collection.


The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first-century innovation, and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design.

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