One of the pleasures of Pinterest is finding themes for different “boards” and one I created on impulse was “Margarets.” I haven’t know many Margarets, especially ones who might actually go by the full name and not a nickname. Fortuitously, there are some very cool women named Margaret, and the first in my series is the art jeweler Margaret De Patta(1903-1964). She attended Academy of Fine Arts in San Diego, studied metalsmithing, and and had her own studio by 1935. I love this photo of De Patta at work, wearing one of her own sculptural brooches. She was part of of a 1948 exhibit, Modern Jewelry under 50 Dollars at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, with the emphasis on modernist jewelry as wearable art, and in fact, De Patta studied Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, who was a teacher at the Bauhaus in Berlin. According to Marbeth Schon, “De Patta’s work shows the influence of Maholy-Nagy in her use of semi-transparent stones which manipulate light and especially her silver pin with stainless steel screen which bears a resemblance to a Moholy-Nagy photogram. Moholy-Nagy had experimented with three-dimensional construction, light modulator, space modulators, the transition of light through plastic sheets and kineticism.”
If you are fortunate to live near the Oakland Museum of California, you may have seen the exhibit Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta, February 4, 2012 – May 13, 2012.
If you live in NY, check it out now at: Museum of Art and Design, New York City, June 5th, 2012-September 23rd, 2012, Space-Light-Structure: The Jewelry of Margaret De Patta.