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"Retrospective of Metalsmith: Robert Ebendorf’s Pioneering Career"
2003-09-26 until 2004-01-19
Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Office of Public Affairs, DC, USA

A leader in the studio jewelry movement, Robert Ebendorf (b. 1938) combines traditional goldsmithing techniques, collage and unconventional materials to create dynamic ornamentation. "The Jewelry of Robert Ebendorf: A Retrospective of Forty Years," a traveling exhibition on view this fall at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, traces the evolution of this inventive, dedicated and prolific artist through objects drawn from 20 private and nine museum and cultural collections. On view from Sept. 26, 2003 through Jan. 19, 2004, the exhibition contains 95 objects including jewelry and sculpture as well as drawings, sketches, photographs and working notes. A re-creation of Ebendorf’s desk and workspace is included in the exhibition.

"Robert Ebendorf helped shape the American craft movement since the early 1960s," said Elizabeth Broun, the Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. "He is greatly respected by other craft artists and students, and the museum is fortunate to present this retrospective exploring his exceptional career."

Internationally known for using unusual materials that range from crab claws to Formica ColorCore(tm) along with gold, silver and bronze, Ebendorf’s work defies categorization. Miniature chairs and sterling tea infusers join brooches, bracelets, necklaces and rings in demonstrating the wide range of Ebendorf’s craft.

The exhibition is divided into four chronological sections: "A Visual Vocabulary: 1960–1970," "Taming the Text: 1970–1990," "Meaning and Memory: 1990–2000" and "Looking Backward, Looking Forward: 2000–present." Beginning with traditional silver objects produced during his graduate studies, this retrospective follows Ebendorf’s progression to the use of found objects, industrial products, paper, shells and street debris.


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