The Jewelry Insider

May 10, 2011

Glass jewelry has been a popular accessory choice for beachcombers and fashionistas alike. But it’s rare to see the material lauded as a museum-worthy art form.

“GlassWear,” a new exhibition at the Museum of Arts and Design, attempts to upend the perception of glass in jewelry as something you only find in touristy shops on the boardwalks of sunny vacation

According to Ursula Ilse-Neuman, the show’s curator, glass in contemporary jewelry “is an expression of the artistic, social, political, scientific and technological forces fueling exploration in the arts today.”

The New York Times reports that the Swarovski-sponsored exhibit includes a variety of artistic interpretations:

“Wall Brooches, by Karen Gilbert dexterously combine traditional jewelry materials with tubular Pyrex elements straight out of a high school chemistry lab. Wendy Ramshaw’s famous Chain of Glass Tears necklace from the Picasso’s Ladies series, copiously weeps big blue and green glass droplets. Karl Fritsch’s ring, a crystalline formation of faceted glass jewels piled skyward, seems
incredibly current and fashionable, as do the glamorous (and not a little disco diva-ish) anodized aluminum-and-Swarovski-crystal bracelets by Andreas Eberharter.”

The display makes no excuses for the examples that are lacking in wearability. Bernhard Schobinger’s necklace of broken bottle halves is one daring example as is his dangerously raw-edged Poison glass ring, despite the multi-carat diamond meticulously bezel-set atop it.

But’s treasure chest has hundreds of glass jewelry styles that will only draw legions of fans – not blood. So for glass jewelry lovers that can’t make it to the Big Apple to catch the exhibit between July 15th and September 20th, take a gander at our stylish and affordable ‘glasswear’ offerings – all from the retailers you trust.

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