Jewelry and abstraction by women artists and creators of the 20th century

Jewelry and abstraction

Study day organized at the Centre Pompidou by L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts - June 3, 2021

From 2pm to 6pm
Free Admission, no reservation required
Centre Pompidou, Petite salle

What role did women play in the emergence of abstract jewelry in the 20th century?

While the essential contribution of artists such as Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979) and Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889-1943) to the development of abstraction is recognized today, the hypothesis of a feminine tendency towards the non-figurative in the field of jewelry arts seems seductive, in view of the numerous jewelry creations that appeared in the first half of the 20th century.

This tendency to abstraction, sometimes radical, is often coupled with a certain form of openness, a decompartmentalization of the arts, which testifies to the training, the pathways and the fields of activity of these creators. Trained in professional technical schools or art schools, from the world of jewelry or decorative arts, specialized in jewelry or practicing other art forms in parallel, they present a diversity of faces and profiles, which contributed to the richness of abstract jewelry creation in the 20th century.

In tandem with the exhibition "Elles font l'abstraction" (Centre Pompidou, May 5 - August 23, 2021), this Study Day will seek to question the place of women artists in jewelry creation of the 20th century and highlight their contribution to abstraction. Lastly, to question the way in which art history is written.  

S T U D Y  D A Y  W E L C O M E   S T A T E M E N T S

2:00 - 2:30
Nicolas Bos, President and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels, and Christine Macel, Head Curator of Heritage, Pompidou Center, Curator of the Exhibition « Elles font l’abstraction »
Marie Vallanet, President of L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts
Guillaume Glorieux, Director of Teaching and Research at L’ÉCOLE, School of Jewelry Arts


2:30 - 3:00 - 
Jewels and abstraction, artists’ creations in the 20th century
Christine Macel, Curator General of Heritage, Mnam Pompidou Centre, Curator of the Exhibition « Elles font l’abstraction »

3:00 - 3:30 - Abstraction of jewelers
Karine Lacquemant, Attachée of conservation, Modern and Contemporary Department, Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris

4:00 - 4:30 - Schools of applied arts: a reference in the world of jewelry creation
Juliet Weir-de la Rochefoucauld F.G.A., author of books on independent jewelers of the 20th and 21st century, specialist of 20th century jewelry

4:30 - 5:00 - Break

5:00 - 5:30 - Tangible actions or abstract operations? Observing practice to trace the emergence of a jewel
Brune Boyer, jeweler-plastician, Doctor of anthropology, author of a thesis on “The Factory of contemporary jewelry: ethnographies of workshops” (2020)

5:30 - 6:00 - The wrong type of jewelry. About a few post-1980 shape makers
Anne Dressen, Curator of the Contemporary Art Exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of Paris

Photo : Margaret de Patta, Broche, vers 1950, quartz, argent, argent oxydé, Daphne Farago collection. Photo Museum of Fine Arts, Boston