Regine SCHWARZER earrings and necklace, 2012 (detail)

Regine SCHWARZER earrings and necklace, 2012 (detail)

revealed3 : someone's and everyone's  

University of South Australia’s Samstag Museum of Art


Every Collection Is a Story:

Four Jewellery Collections in Adelaide

Contemporary jewellery is hot. In recent decades it has become an important focus of collecting, and a wealth of museum catalogues, books and blogs testifies to the beauty, vitality and distinction of contemporary jewellery. is is especially true
of the United Kingdom, the USA, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy, but also Australia and New Zealand, with their energetic jewellery communities and leading figures recognised across the world.

Contemporary jewellery collecting has been a long time coming. Humans have always needed jewellery, and what is now widely recognized as the most ancient form of art thrives in the 21st century. Because jewellery is wearable, it is portable, passing from body to body, from hand to hand, travelling the world. It is also (mostly) evident to others, and of all forms of crafting the most public in-principle. And perhaps because contemporary jewellery embodies both portability and personal identity, it has thrived over the last five decades of accelerated social change, precisely when some other forms of crafting have been faltering.

In Adelaide, just four collections suggest something of the rich complex motivations that inspire engagement with contemporary jewellery. But these selections also evoke aspects of collecting that are, to a degree, opaque, even to the collectors themselves: this is, after all, a process of discovery. ere is a serendipitous aspect to collecting, no matter how systematic it may appear, a story that unfolds with each acquisition: how to account for why a collector chose jewellery rather than ceramics, or that academics Truus and Joost Daalder were working in New Zealand when contemporary jewellery flowered there in the 1970s, only to collect it later?

Revealed3: someone’s and everyone’s allows us to examine the role of the collector in supporting artists working in the visual practice of contemporary jewellery. Built over the course of a lifetime out of a passion for beautiful and sometimes challenging objects, these collections demonstrate not only the craft and imagination of the makers but also the collector’s own taste and story. Join us to delve into the fascinating motivations behind the gathering of these private yet very public works of art.

Author: Julie Ewington
Exhibition Curators: Gillian Brown and Margaret Hancock Davis Samstag Museum of Art Director: Erica Green
Senior Curator: Susan Jenkins
Curator: Gillian Brown