A View from the Jeweler’s Bench: Ancient Treasures, Contemporary Statements explores how contemporary jewelry makers are drawing from antique forms and techniques to create modern works of art.

It is curated by Sasha Nixon, a recent alumna of Bard Graduate Center. Our Gallery presents the exhibition at a time when art and academic institutions are increasingly focused on contemporary art jewelry, and in a moment when ancient jewelry has become a prevalent source of inspiration for contemporary jewelry artists.

The exhibition focuses on how contemporary artists working with jewelry create the final form of a piece at the jeweler’s bench, the place where jewelry is wrought by hand. To convey this process, the exhibition includes a jeweler’s bench, sketches, and tools. It also considers how jewelry from the ancient world to the present informs contemporary practice by comparing recent pieces to their precedents. This organizational structure illuminates the connections between present and past—in terms of form, technique, and materials—so that visitors can better see how artists are re-considering the art of adornment and age-old jewelry forms in exciting new ways.

The exhibition features works by contemporary jewelry artists Ashley Buchanan, Jeanette Caines, Lin Cheung, Giovanni Corvaja, Mary Lee Hu, Gabriella Kiss, Otto Kunzli, emiko oye, Mary Hallam Pearse, Nicole Jacquard, Anya Kivarkis, and Kiff Slemmons.


The curator, Sasha Nixon, received her MA from Bard Graduate Center in May of 2018. In celebration of its 25th Anniversary, Bard Graduate Center is pleased to present an exhibition curated by an alumna and developed from her Exhibition Qualifying Paper.


Support for A View from the Jeweler’s Bench: Ancient Treasures, Contemporary Statements has been provided by David Yurman; Gus Davis—Camilla Dietz Bergeron, ltd; and donors to Bard Graduate Center.

Special thanks to the Society of North American Goldsmiths and its Emerging Curators Grant Program.