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Margaret Mondays: Margaret De Patta’s Wearable Art of Space-Light-Structure

Margaret De Patta at Work
Margaret De Patta at work, 1948 / George Straus, photographer. Margaret De Patta papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

 

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.” 

Margaret De Patta, Silver pin exhibited: Modern Jewelry under fifty dollars, 1948
Margaret De Patta, Silver pin exhibited: Modern Jewelry under fifty dollars, 1948

Community of Creatives and Mobilia Gallery have some great photos of Margaret De Patta’s pieces, and their capturing of light.  There’s also a photo of an amazing Modernist Silver Bangle.

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.

 

 

 

Art Jewelry by Margaret De Patta.
Art Jewelry by Margaret De Patta.

 

 

 

 

 

De Patta Contemporary Jewelry.
De Patta Contemporary Jewelry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 comments

    • Toby says:

      Hi Margaret,
      You may already know, but the Margaret de Patta show that was at the Oakland Museum has now come to New York – it’s at the Museum of Art & Design (MAD) in NYC until September!

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