From Pearls to Platinum to Plastic

Ulysses Grant Dietz

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This catalogue presents the evolution of the Newark Museum’s jewelry collection, showcasing prime examples that document the makers, styles, and craftsmanship, both antique and contemporary. The museum began collecting jewelry in 1911 when Archibald Mercer donated two antique gold watches, and over the years generations of old Newark families have contributed to the museum’s holdings. What started out in the 1990s as a collection focused on the products of Newark’s jewelry industry has developed into what is today one of the most comprehensive jewelry holdings in the country, including ancient, African, Asian, European, and American jewelry.

Offering a rich sampling of the jewelry from the extensive Decorative Arts collection at the Newark Museum, this volume reflects on the wide array of materials people have used over the centuries--from pebbles to precious stones and metals to glass, enamel, and plastic--to create beautiful works that transcend personal adornment and become pieces of art.

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