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Celebrating the Art of Art Smith

Art Smith was a visionary jewelry artist who pioneered many innovations in the mid 1900s, including bold geometric pieces that both cover and reveal the body.

Style and Substance

A known jazz aficionado, Smith’s designs were thought to move and swing and swerve in a manner similar to jazz. In that same spirit his jewelry compositions, like great music, made effective use of silence, as much as sound.

The ingredients that have always been involved in my work are metal and wire. Then a third ingredient, space, which I use very actively, very concretely because of my own orientation toward designing that way, but also as it’s a very cheap component. – Art Smith

Art Smith Jewelry

Watch: Crafted In America’s JEWELRY Episode Segment

Crafted in America’s JEWELRY explores the history, artistry, and impact of personal adornment and features an 11 minute tribute to Art Smith.

The Art Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund

In June, 2020, the Art Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund was established by a group of 50 jewelry industry brands to fund a $50,000 Endowment at New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) that creates ongoing scholarships and mentorships to support Black students attending FIT’s jewelry design program.

Art Smith
Photo credit: Estate of Art Smith

Read more about Art Smith, Winifred Mason Chenet and Bill Smith in Emili Vesilind’s coverage on JCK Online: Pioneering Black American Jewelry Designers In History

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