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Ornament as Art Exhibit



Exhibit: Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams Drutt Collection

Dates: Showing now through Jan. 4, 2009

Location: Mint Museum of Craft + Design, 220 N. Tryon St.

Info: 704-337-2000 or go to

To some women, jewelry is simply a trinket, showered upon them by an admirer. To others, it is a symbol of everlasting love. But then there are those women who don't just see jewelry as a pretty, shiny plaything or even as "a girl's best friend." These women see jewelry as art -- each bangle, brooch and earring, a masterpiece. These women are fascinated by the bending of hard metal into soft feminine curves and floating rings.

Helen Williams Drutt was one of those women. Jewelry to her was not just something you wore. It was something that captivated you, and others around you, and prompted conversations of art and beauty. The pieces and the artists who made them told stories of power, love, sex, politics and the state of where we are as a society.

The Mint Museum of Craft + Design is proud to showcase Ms. Drutt's extensive 720-piece collection. In Ornament as Art, Ms. Drutt's pieces span 18 countries and more than 175 artists. The exhibit starts in the 1960s and goes to 2001. Watch as the pieces go from classic to avant-garde, as we see artists like Gijs Bakker, Stanley Lechtzin, Peter Chang, Emmy van Leersum, Bruce Metcalf, and Olaf Skoogfors in their prime.

Helen Williams Drutt's collection is thought to be one of the most comprehensive in 20th century jewelry, and a must-see for any true lover of bling.