Despite the fact that I live a subway ride away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I don't often spend the time to see what is being shown. I saw a poster in the jewelry district for a show of Masriera jewelry. Being an admirer, I decided to take a break from the studio and have a look.
It turns out that the show is actually called Barcelona and Modernity: Gaudi to Dali. There were about 11 pieces of Masriera in all, representing both the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.
The most delightful piece was a brooch that was in the Art Nouveau style. It had a pale pink background of plique-a-jour enamels, and as I looked at it, I thought "is that a plane?!". Reading the label confirmed for me that it was a plane over Barcelona. It struck me humourous and I'd like to think that the maker and wearer also found humor in it as well.
While Masreira is a much larger firm that my own, I read on the website that the company was started in 1839 by Josep Masriera i Vidal, a goldsmith fresh from his apprenticeship. His aspiration and love of metalsmithing give a great feeling of kinship with this man and his company. Sort of like the time I stood in front of the "tools from the time of Ghengis Khan", display in the Mongolian National Museum and recognized many tools that I have in my own studio.
Even thought we metalsmiths are anachronistic in the digital age, it still makes sense to us when we see that fashioning objects in metal is one of the oldest and most persistent creative activities of mankind.
This show is up until Jun 3, 2007