1968 - 2021
MAR. 27 - JUNE 12, 2022
Conceived by Helen Drutt
Per Suntum, Ring of Bloom, 1994/2021. Gold.
Artwork courtesy of the Helen Williams Drutt Family Collection. Photo: Virginia Price.
“Drutt’s distinguished eye and longtime bonds with artists guided her selections, resulting in an exhibition that layered sculptural expressions
and personal narratives across the landscape of the ring form.”
– Elizabeth Essner (1)
RINGS! 1968 – 2021 showcases a remarkable collection of contemporary rings that reveal the wide-ranging creativity of artists working in this timeless jewelry form. These wearable art pieces examine the cultural, political, and personal meanings of the ring and reveal a wide variety of traditional metalsmithing techniques, experimental methods and materials, and contemporary processes. This exhibition features over 100 rings by international artists from Australia, Austria, England, Germany, India, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.
First opening last summer at The Galleries at Moore College of Art & Design (Philadelphia, PA), this traveling exhibition was on display at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (Houston, TX) in early 2022 before moving to the Metal Museum in spring 2022.
RINGS! highlights many works owned by exhibition organizer Helen Drutt, a renowned educator, gallery owner, author, patron of the arts, and advocate of modern and contemporary craft. Drawing on her many and diverse experiences in the art world, Drutt adds historic context and scholarly weight to the diverse assemblage of rings on display.
Wearable art, Drutt believes, invites conversations about contemporary art into everyday life and emphasizes the importance of jewelry in modern-day society. This exhibition was researched by independent curator Elizabeth Essner with assistance from Colleen Terrell.
A selection of rings from the Metal Museum’s Permanent Collection will accompany this exhibition.
1. Elizabeth Essner, “RINGS!,” Metalsmith Vol. 41, No. 3 (2021): 40.
Commemorate the exhibit that changed the way we think of
adornment with this
exhibit catalog, available in the Museum Store.
Ji Soo Lee
Jessica Jane Julius
Joyce J. Scott
Stacey Lee Webber
EXHIBITION & PROGRAMMING SUPPORT
Hyde Family Foundation
Windgate Charitable Foundation
Tennessee Arts Commission