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Sunyoung Kim and Ute Van Der Plaats Win the Second Annual LOOT Acquisition Prize


New York, NY (April 7, 2017)

Shannon R. Stratton, Chief Curator of the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), and Barbara Paris Gifford, Assistant Curator, announced on Monday night that art jewelers Sunyoung Kim and Ute van der Plaats have been awarded the second annual LOOT Acquisition Prize, on the occasion of the seventeenth edition of LOOT: MAD About Jewelry. LOOT presents a cross section of the most exciting cutting-edge art jewelry designs, while offering the public a rare opportunity to purchase pieces from and to meet some of the most skilled creators in the field. This year’s prize will result in the acquisition of two jewelry works, Kim’s Theme and Variation necklace and van der Plaats’ In Between Days ring, for the Museum’s collection.

“The Museum of Arts and Design is unique in its support of studio art jewelry, between our permanent Tiffany & Co. Jewelry Gallery and our annual LOOT exhibition and sale,” Stratton noted. “We remain dedicated to supporting and celebrating the field, and the LOOT Acquisition Prize is one way to make that commitment even more public.”

“Every year we welcome the chance to acquire something unparalleled for our collection—jewelry that is exemplary in terms of concept, materials, and technique,” said Gifford. “LOOT never fails to present work that fits these criteria. This year, it was not enough to choose just one piece, because so much of the work is of such a high caliber.”

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 Honorees Camilla Dietz Bergeron, Francine LeFrak, and Kara Ross; and LOOT Honorary Chair Dame Zandra Rhodes.

Born in Korea, Sunyoung Kim received a BFA in Jewelry Design from Kongju National University and an MFA in Metalwork and Jewelry from Kookmin University. She finds inspiration in the world of plants, which though frail have a strong hold on life, an active growth and prolificacy. Kim focuses on representing this strength with thin metal plates, which she processes through hammering and injection using various chasing tools. She delights in the unexpected properties that emerge during processing, as well as in the difficulty of returning metal to its original state after processing; the careful study required to produce a desired object provides the impetus for her work in metalcraft.

Born in Germany and based in Brussels, Belgium, Ute van der Plaats has worked as a jewelry designer since 2009. In addition to contemporary jewelry, she has a passion for graphic design and ceramics, and her latest collection combines these three disciplines. A few years ago, she discovered porcelain—the white gold—and fell in love with it. Since then, this pure material has become the starting point in the creation process of her jewelry collections. She is attracted by its translucent white color, the fragile appearance that belies a surprisingly solid character, and the almost sensual texture of unglazed porcelain. By integrating different materials, such as 3D-printed ornaments and digitally designed images, into handcrafted porcelain creations, she translates traditional jewelry concepts into contemporary pieces.

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 900 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. 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.


Tuesday, April 4:
Wednesday, April 5:
Thursday, April 6:
Friday, April 7:
Saturday, April 8:

10 am to 7 pm
10 am to 8 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 is free with Museum admission.

Corporate Sponsor: Paolo Costagli

Media Partner: 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 the 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 will be debuting 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. The Museum will be celebrating its Diamond Jubilee 60th Anniversary this year.

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