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LOOT 2012: A Rare Opportunity to Purchase Contemporary Art and Studio Jewelry at the Museum of Arts and Design
August 28, 2012  | 

There are many special exhibitions that take place throughout the year in New York City but none are more special than LOOT, an exhibition and sale of contemporary art and studio jewelry that has taken place for the last twelve years at the Museum of Arts and Design. This year’s edition, curated by Bryna Pomp, a jewelry specialist, and Nancy Olnick, a noted collector, will be held from September 11- 15, 2012.

It is fitting that a show of this caliber will take place at the Museum of Arts and Design, the only American museum with a gallery dedicated to contemporary and modern studio jewelry which it began collecting in 1956. While proceeds from LOOT go to benefit the museum’s Exhibition and Education programs the biggest benefit of this show is being able to purchase the best contemporary artist jewelry directly from the source: the artist that made it.

This year’s edition will welcome fifty-six artists from twelve different countries who will all be present at the show. For returning curators Pomp and Olnick, who have looked at the work of thousands of artists over the course of this past year, it was important to have an international artist contingency and to include a wide range of materials. After all contemporary art and studio jewelry artists push the boundaries of our understanding of jewelry by utilizing non-traditional materials to create wearable, and one of a kind, art works or mini sculptures. In fact the breadth of materials that will be present at the show includes pencils, zippers, rubber, polymer clay, glass, fabric, Faenza shards, Whitby jet, and industrial materials like polyamide, biocompatible resins, stellite, and titanium. If that is not impressive, little else is.

While in recent years the show’s organizers have begun to include the work of emerging artists, going as far as to invite recent art school grads (this year that honor went to the 2012 graduates of the Jewelry Design Program at the Fashion Institute of Technology), the show prides itself on offering the work of established names. One of the highlights of this year’s show is the participation of Eva Eisler, the Czech- born artist who called New York her home for over two decades before moving back to Prague and taking on the role of the Chair of the metals department at Prague's Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design. Eisler’s minimalist stainless steel creations have earned her a reputation for being one of the most important jewelry artists working today. The artist will be coming to LOOT with six of her students, whose work while surely guided by their professor is as different as each of their personalities.

 This year LOOT’s organizers have decided to do something that they have never done before: recognize the talents of one particular artist and award him the LOOT Award for Contemporary Art Jewelry. Axel Russmeyer will be the recipient of this inaugural prize, which will be presented during the Opening Benefit in the form of a glass sculpture made by Adam Cohen, a glass artist and son of Michele Cohen, the Chair of LOOT 2012. The German glass bead artist’s work is in such prestigious museum collections such as Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria+ Albert Museum in London. Pomp explained that Russmeyer was a natural choice as his work “sets the bar very high in terms of craftsmanship and aesthetic.”

LOOT’s curators promise that there will be something for every taste and budget. The price point falls between $200 and $15,000 with $1,000 being the average price.

The curators have already started scouting the globe for artists to fill next year’s roster. It is not an easy task as the show has become so popular that many aspiring participants have started to reach out to them. LOOT affords a very rare opportunity to anyone who is interested in contemporary jewelry to come see the work and purchase it directly from the artist. Since the ways in which we adorn our bodies says so much about us, it is only right that we build a relationship with the person who is responsible for providing the adornment. LOOT provides one with this extraordinary opportunity.

Opening Benefit: Tuesday, September 11th, 4:30PM to 8PM

For more information about the show visit:
Tickets for the opening night benefit are still available and may be purchased through the Museum of Arts and Design by contacting Rebekka Grossman,

LOOT 2012 Hours:
Wednesday, September 12th, 11AM to 6PM
Thursday, September 13th, 11AM to 9PM
Friday, September 14th, 11AM to 9PM
Saturday, September 15th, 11AM to 6PM

On Saturday, September 15th, the museum will host a Jewelry Study Day which will feature films, discussions, and a tour of LOOT organized by the Art Jewelry Forum (, as well as tour of the exhibition “Margaret De Patta: Space Light Structure”, currently on view at the museum, with its curator Ursula Ilse-Neuman.  For more information about the show visit Tickets for the opening night benefit are still available and may be purchased through the Museum of Arts and Design by contacting Rebekka Grossman,