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Necklaces Conceptual in Form and Material are the Main Attraction of New Jewelry Exhibition

Hanging Around: Neckpieces from the MAD Collection Opens on January 24, 2012

New York, NY (December 12, 2011)

Exotic and experimental neckpieces crafted from a dizzying array of materials, ranging from traditional media like gold, silver, and precious stones to such stuff of industry as steel and plastic to modern-day rubbish like old photo transparencies, fruit-wrapping paper, and even pig intestines, are the subject of this compelling exhibition. The methods employed to make these pieces are equally varied, encompassing both ancient goldsmithing techniques, like chasing and casting, and contemporary technologies, like digital prototyping. Featuring 75 works by over 70 creators from across the globe, some anonymous tribal artisans and many others celebrated art jewelers like Art Smith, Earl Pardon, Gijs Bakker and Ted Noten, Hanging Around: Neckpieces from the MAD Collection will run through May 12, 2012.

Notable among the works employing unexpected "non-precious" materials are California-based designer Emiko Oye's "Dawning from My First Jewels" series, assembled out of white Lego bricks, and Korean artist Choonsun Moon's neckpiece made from cardboard and plastic. Other works are distinguished by their unusual combinations of media, like "Dieg Bou Diar" by the Amsterdam-based Mieke Groot, fashioned out of hand-blown glass globes mixed with beads made from tomato paste containers from Ghana, and Ted Noten's "A Siberian Necklace #1," featuring an 18K gold necklace linking beads made out of synthetic rubies and resin-encased insects!

"These free interpretations of this ancient form encourage us to reconsider the role of the necklace as more than an accessory or a status symbol, but as a reflection of our physical and social environment," says Ursula Ilse-Neuman, MAD's Curator of Jewelry. "Hanging Around reveals how diverse and exciting MAD's jewelry collection is and what a wellspring of inspiration it can be," adds Holly Hotchner, MAD's Nanette L. Laitman Director. "It attests to what a creatively fertile field art jewelry is today."


The Museum of Arts and Design explores the blur zone between art, design, and craft today. The Museum focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the artisanal to digital. The Museum's exhibition program explores and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights creativity and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by gifted and innovative artists. MAD's permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day. At the center of the Museum's mission is education. The Museum's dynamic new facility features classrooms and studios for master classes, seminars, and workshops for students, families, and adults. Three open artist studios engage visitors in the creative processes of artists at work and enhance the exhibition programs. Lectures, films, performances, and symposia related to the Museum's collection and topical subjects affecting the world of contemporary art, craft, and design are held in a renovated 144-seat auditorium.

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