Art Jewelry at the
National Museum 2016

Almost 30 years ago, the exhibition “Den internationella smyckekonsten – Nya Smycken New Jewellery” (The International Art Jewellery – New Jewellery New Jewellery) at the Kulturhuset in Stockholm.

It presented a new art jewelry that grew in Holland, England and Germany. Jewelry had gone from being purely decorative and a status symbol. The jewelry that was shown at the Kulturhuset represented a changed perception, jewelry associated with artistic content and expression. Communication was pivotal and the new jewelry stood in contrast to the minimalistic and modernistic artistic idiom that characterized Swedish art jewelry, after the war.

Art jewelry has successively made great strides towards other visual art.

Education in art jewelry at the Academy of Design and Crafts (HDK) in Gothenburg was meaningful. There, in 1996, the first professorship in art jewelry, in the Nordics, was established. The 2004 name change of the education at Konstfack from Metal Design to Ädellab (precious lab), also sent a signal.
In summary, art jewelry has strongly developed and Swedish jewelry artists, to a great degree, are part of an international development. This is an unknown fact for many art enthusiasts.

Objective of the exhibition

One of the National Museum’s tasks is to promote artistic and cultural renewal.
Within Swedish art jewelry, there has been a strong development and Swedish art jewelry has stood up well in the international competition and been selected to be shown at the major international jewelry exhibition Schmuck that is annually held in Munich.
Several artists now work with foreign gallery owners are shown and sold outside of Sweden.

During the 2000s, the National Museum has incorporated into its collection jewelry that communicates gender, power, prejudice, nature, identity, functionalism, recycling, the beauty industry and material. An important task for Sweden’s leading art and design museums, is to highlight art jewelry that transverses handicraft, art and design.
The object is to make it possible for a wider group to become familiar with an art form that few know of.

In the spring of 2016, the National Museum will execute an international exhibition on modern art jewelry associated with the 1986 exhibition. It will also present relevant objects from the National Museum’s collection. The band between Swedish and international art jewelry is interesting and will be highlighted. As will the issue of gender, where Swedish art jewelry has excelled.

Ellen Maurer Zilioli, PhD, has been engaged as curator. She has a solid museum background from Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich that has built up one of the world’s finest collections of contemporary art jewelry. Moreover, she organized, Here we are, an international jewelry symposium at Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and the jewelry exhibition, New Play in Art.
Currently she runs a gallery in Munich. In connection with the exhibition, there will be a collaboration with other museums in Stockholm, and a number of activities such as seminars, debates and lectures will be arranged.