Alexander McQueen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Alexander McQueen's, legendary fashion designer, has made the headlines in the most selective circles lately. The line's creative director, Sarah Burton, was the top secret designer behind Kate Middleton's wedding dress for the most viewed royal wedding in history. And for those of us lucky to live in NYC, the Metropolitan Museum of Art's special exhibition, Savage Beauty, features an in depth look at McQueen's extraordinary contribution to fashion.

I had the opportunity to view Savage Beauty last week, and it was an impressive display of McQueen's imagination, creativity, and construction skills. His themes of romance, nationalism, and primitivism inspired innovative designs and fresh viewpoints.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has done a fantastic job curating the exhibit, setting the mood with lighting, gilded mirrors lining the walls, and interspersing music and video footage of his previous fashion shows. Not only are the fashion pieces artfully displayed, but viewers also get close looks at the headpieces, shoes, and accessories.

The exhibit will be on view until July 31st. The Museum's hours are Tuesday - Thursday, 9:30am - 5:30pm, Friday and Saturday, 9:30am - 9pm, and Sunday, 9:30am - 5:30pm. The Museum is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street.


Sculptural Jewelry by Art Smith

Fluid. That’s one of the many words that come to mind when you look at the jewelry of Art Smith (1917-1982). He was able to create impactful, yet very simplistic modern jewelry that still looks current today.
The amazing man who created these works is no longer with us but you can find an amazing array of his jewelry at the Brooklyn Museum exhibit “From the Village to Vogue, the Modern Jewelry of Art Smith”.
Smith used various methods to create his flowing jewelery and I as a jeweler use most of the same processes, like soldering and forming.
I am inspired by Smith’s work, which is somewhat similar to mine. Simple shapes and silhouettes are what define both of our work. Strong texture and stones accompany my work, his with wire and graceful movement.
The tools that Art used in the middle of last century are still being used by jewelers today. I probably used the same forming tools to create my newer sculptural necklaces. I know for sure that we have the same processes - rough sketches on pieces of paper, followed by trail and error, which finally leads to a dynamic piece of jewelery that looks like just what we were thinking!
For most of his pieces he used wire or sheets of metal that he then drew designs on and cut out with a jewelers saw. The time consuming technique of forming the metal to the perfect shape is evident in his finished items, which hang like mobiles from the wearer's neck. He also soldered stone settings,like bezels, onto his pieces and then hand set many precious stones, including amethyst,lapis and emeralds. Other times he just formed the metal and let the forms and shapes speak for themselves.
I love that we are both lovers of the metal first, then the stones. I do not use many stones in my jewelry, but when I do it is subtle but creates a pop, much like Art's jewelry. One of my newer creations deals with form and the chest. I wanted to created a bold but simple chest piece with movement. This piece was formed from wire, which was then soldered onto brass sculptured castings and plated with 22kt gold.
Another piece that draws inspiration from Art is my Fang Necklace, which draws upon ancient tribal jewelry. Like Art, I use stones to emphasize the gold and movement of the texture of the jewelry.
Art Smith continues to inspire designers and novices alike with his playful, functional wearable art. Please don't miss out on seeing the amazing jewelry of Art Smith at the Brooklyn Museum. By popular demand, the exhibit, which was set to close in 2009 has been extended and is now housed as a long term installation. There is no excuse to miss this!!

Lingua Nigra Jewelry

Weekend Getaway - Dia:Beacon

Spring is a great time to do some local exploring and have a quick weekend getaway to enjoy new places not too far from home. One place that I discovered about a year ago was the Dia modern art museum in Beacon, NY. Not only is the train ride from NYC along the Hudson River beautiful, but the area surrounding the museum is so serene. The café inside the Dia is quite lovely to have lunch at as well. The MTA also offers a package deal that includes a round trip ticket on the Metro North along with a ticket to the museum. Get all the details here:

And check out the Dia website to find out about current exhibits. Their permanent collection is also amazing:

Here are a few pics from my visit:

nice garden at the Dia

view of the Hudson River from the museum
my hubbie inside one of Serra's breath-taking sculptures


Three Wintry Landscape Paintings from the Brooklyn Museum's Collection

Did you know that the Brooklyn Museum's collection is now viewable online?
You may access it by clicking here.

I am enjoying viewing their online collection a great deal. I thought it would be fun for me, and wonderful for you, to view three very lovely wintry landscapes in the Museum's collection. :)

This beautiful painting was created by French artist, Victor Charreton in 1899, and is entitled, "Wet Snow, Auvergne." I love the use of color here and especially the use of the color purple.

Here is a beautiful painting, by American artist, Francis Guy, that is entitled, "Winter Scene in Brooklyn," ca. 1819-1820. I adore the fabulous cloud formations in this piece.

This painting, entitled, "Snow Scene" was created by American painter, Emile Branchard, ca.1920s-1930s. I love the sense of space in this painting; one can almost feel the bitter cold in this lonely landscape.

by Nina Kuriloff