November 03, 2014

The Driehaus Museum Presents Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry Exhibition


The Driehaus Museum Presents Maker & Muse: Women & Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry Exhibition

Featuring 250 works of art jewelry made, worn and inspired by women.

High-resolution images are available at

CHICAGO (November 3, 2014) —The Richard H. Driehaus Museum proudly presents the major exhibition Maker & Muse: Women & Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry, opening February 14, 2015.

Maker & Muse is comprised of works drawn from the Collection of Richard H. Driehaus and prominent private and public collections throughout the United States. Driehaus Museum founder and art collector Richard H. Driehaus began acquiring Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts jewelry in the 1990s and has never publicly shown his collection before. Additional pieces are being loaned from museums and private collectors from across the country including the Newark Museum, Tiffany & Co. Archives, and the Chicago History Museum.

The exhibition features more than 250 stunning pieces of jewelry created between the late Victorian Era and World War I. During this vibrant period, jewelry makers in the world’s centers of design created audacious new styles in response to the growing industrialization of the world and the changing role of women in society. Their work—boldly artistic, exquisitely detailed, hand wrought, and inspired by nature—became known as art jewelry.

“The urge for a new aesthetic emerged simultaneously in many countries at the turn of the century,” says Elyse Zorn Karlin, Exhibition Curator. “Art jewelry styles are as unique to the regions in which they were created, but together were defined by a rebellion against the strictures of the past and a look toward an exciting, less-encumbered future. This exhibition is the most extensive look to date of the sheer diversity and beauty of art jewelry during this period, and offers a new and groundbreaking perspective on woman’s role within that world.”

Women were not only the intended wearers of art jewelry during the early twentieth century, but an essential part of its creation. From the world’s first independent female jewelry makers to the woman as artistic motif, the art jewelry of the new century reflected rapid changes in definitions of femininity and social norms.

Exemplary examples of necklaces, brooches, bracelets, pins, rings, jeweled and enameled boxes, pendants, buckles, cloak clasps, accessories, and tiaras are featured in Maker & Muse. Each of the Museum’s second-floor galleries is devoted to jewelry showcasing the five areas of design and fabrication: the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain, Art Nouveau in France and Belgium, Jugendstil in Germany and Austria, Louis Comfort Tiffany in New York, and American Arts and Crafts in Chicago. Each gallery explores the historic social milieu associated with these movements, accompanied by selected contextual objects of the period. 

“The true beauty and value of art jewelry lies in the artist’s vision and mastery of technique, rather than in the sum value and size of precious metals and stones. Each of the works in the exhibition is truly a complete work of art in miniature,” says Mr. Driehaus. “I’m delighted to exhibit my jewelry collection for the first time for Driehaus Museum visitors to enjoy, and am honored to be joined by the distinguished collectors and museums who recognize and celebrate their artistic quality. Together, these works tell a complete story of many jewelers’ aspirations, techniques, and accomplishments.”

Highlights include four revival-style works by Mrs. Newman of London, who paved the way for female jewelry makers of the British Arts and Crafts movement; a daring brooch depicting the female nude form by the consummate French jeweler René Lalique; a Jugendstil pin by the Wiener Werkstätte, to be worn by the hostesses of Vienna’s premier Cabaret Fledermaus; rare designs by Julia Munson, the first director of Louis Comfort Tiffany’s jewelry studio; and exceptional works from Chicago’s distinguished Kalo Shop, founded by Clara Barck Welles.


Presenting Sponsor: Northern Trust
Supporting Sponsor: Sotheby’s

About the Book

The companion book Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry (The Monacelli Press) features essays by prominent experts in the jewelry field with each revealing new research about the unique women who created or inspired art jewelry. The book’s authors include Elyse Zorn Karlin, exhibition curator; Yvonne Markowitz and Emily Stroehrer of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Janis Staggs, of the Neue Galerie, New York; Jeannine Falino, Independent Curator, New York; and Sharon Darling, Historian, Chicago. The publication is comprised of stunning, full-color images by primary photographer John A. Faier and features a preface by collector Richard H. Driehaus.

About the Exhibition, Programs and Special Events

A selection of programs and special events inspired by Maker & Muse will be presented throughout the run of the exhibition. These include public and educational programming such as lectures, concerts, seasonal special events, family programs, and performances; thematic guided tours; private group tours; exclusive events for Museum members; and facility rentals offering private access to the exhibition galleries.

Maker & Muse: Women and Early Twentieth Century Art Jewelry opens at the Driehaus Museum (40 East Erie Street, Chicago, IL 60611) on February 14, 2015 and will run through January 3, 2016.

Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the exhibition is free for Museum members. For additional information about joining the Driehaus Museum, please call 312.482.8933, ext. 46 or visit For the public, admission to Maker & Muse is included in general admission. General admission is $20 for adults, $12.50 for seniors ages 65 and over, $10 for students and youth ages 6–12. Children ages 5 and under are free. 

Acoustiguide audio tours of the exhibition are $5 in addition to general admission. Guided combination tours of the exhibition and Driehaus Museum highlights are also $5 in addition to general admission, and take place daily at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. The duration of the tour is approximately one hour. Private groups of 10 people or more may book a group tour of the exhibition by calling 312.482.8933, ext. 44.

For general information, please call 312.482.8933, ext. 21 or visit

Media Contacts

Lynnea Smith
Marketing Manager, Driehaus Museum
312 482 8933, ext. 39
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Michelle Molise
Molise PR
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