From Pearls to Bic Lighters

From colonization to reuse to the AIDS crisis, themes varied widely in the Schmuck exhibition. Works by 67 jewelry makers from 23 countries were chosen for the most important annual show in the art jewelry field. 

British artist Caroline Broadhead served as the exhibition’s curator. She won a Herbert Hofmann Prize last year at Schmuck. “I responded to a strong sense of purpose in the act of making something, an unusual configuration of form, material, and idea, and an acknowledgment of the power of jewelry to elicit an emotional response,” Broadhead says. The exhibition received 656 applications from jewelry artists in 51 countries. 

Artists brought new ideas to well-used materials such as pearls, as well as turning to nonconventional sources, such as soup bones. Thousands of collectors, artists, gallery owners, and jewelry lovers gathered in Munich March 8–12, 2023, for the exhibition and several dozen satellite events—including Frame—held at the world’s largest jewelry event.

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